Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Drive to Strive and Overcome Struggle

"All artists struggle to some degree with their emotional and creative output."
Michael Fantuz

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I have heard some instructors state that learning is painful. No pain, no gain and all of that. I have been serious about my art for very long time and know this struggle to be true. There were times when I'd had a bad painting day that I wanted to scream or just rip my hair out. But in hindsight, what did this feeling, this attitude, this anguish accomplish? Very little, I'm afraid. 

Since then, I've learned that struggle needn't be so painful if you adopt the right attitude. I've come a long way since then, and I want to tell you that it just isn't all that serious! Setbacks and throw aways are to be expected in the learning process, especially during the first thousand paintings or so, lol. It usually takes time, and lots of just doing it; again and again and again.

When we are struggling and making mistakes, we need to understand that it is all part of the learning process. I continue to learn so much more from my re-dos than from my keepers. And, we can't be afraid to take risks and "ruin" what we are working on; because that step beyond OK is usually what separates the good from the great. Yes, it's a struggle to get there, but it needn't be painful when the right attitude of accepting the process, experimentation and discovery are in place. Instead of asking; "why didn't this turn out?", it may be more helpful to ask, "what did I learn?".

My philosophy and teaching appeals to people who want to learn new approaches that free them from limiting thoughts, fear of failure and anxiety. Focusing on the process and embracing the joy of creativity, my students move into that happy place where time fades away. Here, we are in touch with a universal spirit, truly living in the moment.  Here there is no struggle, only go with the flow, create and learn.

Without putting too much emphasis on the end product, making mistakes, solving problems and building on positive experiences, the learning process isn't painful or frustrating. With my guidance, I see creativity, achievement and fulfillment blossom. When the right foundation has been laid, living with art and experiencing the joy of creativity can help us to live life now, with more engagement, love and enjoyment. See more ...