Shaking out the Cobwebs

Sometimes I get stuck thinking that everything I create has to become a masterpiece or I've let myself down. On these occasions, the creative fire burns low and my days become about putting in just enough studio time to justify calling it a work day...then getting out fast. But I'm noticing myself thinking along these lines earlier and earlier, and thankfully I'm getting better at gently reminding myself that my joy comes from the process. The expression. And at the end of the day, it's the act of making that matters to me.

Earlier this week, I found myself starting to move with a little hesitation, worrying the old worry that what I was making wasn't enough. So I shook things up. Danced around the studio. Dug into materials that have been sitting dormant in boxes for far too long. And I carved up a stamp.

I wasn't too sure about the design, wasn't convinced I could make the cuts come out like I wanted. I wasn't even positive I could get a clean print on the lid of a box - but it was worth the try. So I drew a few vining nasturtiums and signed my name, cut out my hastily drawn lines with wild abandon. And then I spread the ink and made the marks. Found the rhythm in the repetition. Got lost in the joy of the work.

This is the mentality I'm trying to bring to my making right now. The idea that it doesn't have to be perfect - it doesn't even have to turn out in the end. It's the try, the give and take, the process that matters.