While on vacation, I asked a few of my friends to write blog posts for me. I asked for raw stories of the saving grace of art, or those little epiphanies that can change our outlook. I've recieved a few amazing stories, and would like to share one with you today.
I’m tired of waiting for the moment to be right. To find the perfect supplies. To dress up in carefully beautiful I’m An Artist outfits with Artsy-Farty Music on and a perfect bohemian glow shining around me, white curtains blowing in a lusciously clean and bright studio.
I talk a good game about embracing wabi sabi, seeing grace in my goof-ups, finding beauty in the broken—loving REAL life, not the prettied-up version that’s so tempting to polish and post on Facebook and blogs and in my magazine and even preach into my mirror. But it’s still so easy to fall back into stories of not good enough, of be more like her, of comparison and perfection, thinking something in me needs to be different in order to make art beautiful and true.
Enough. I’m here, now. In the mess. In dirty house and grumbling belly and whatever-was-comfortable clothes. Today, now, I decide I NEED this: to unstick the warped door into my studio, to stumble through piles of Forgotten Stuff that Didn’t Fit Anywhere Else, to grab the first art journal I see, to gulp a breath as I glance over Bits of Me Left Behind, to reach a ready hand out and find oil pastel in candy-bright shades. I clutch the goods to me, back out of the too-cluttered-to-work room (with a whispered “I’ll be back. Promise”), and head to the kitchen. I dump the supplies on a folding table and look.
I breathe. Hesitate. Breathe again. I stare at blank page, pick at my nails. No more perfect, right? Just here. Now. The black marker feels right, somehow—so I scribble, without thinking: JUST LET GO. Next, lime green oil pastel finds its way into my hand. Scribble scribble. Glorious. Messy. Yes. Everything else fades. All I see is lime and teal and orange and me. All I feel is joyful squish under fingertips, white paper giving way to color, heart slowing, breath coming easier now. Yes.
Who says beautiful and true can’t be real and honest? What about the wild and free side of me, who so often gets tamped down and combed out and spit-washed and tucked away? She needs to be heard.
It’s time to make mistakes, to play, to delight in the process. It’s time to screw up, royally. It’s time to make some ugly art that somehow still feels beautiful. It’s time to make sh*t because it just feels GOOD. It’s time to get messy, to scribble and “og” (as I called it before I knew the words), to tear and burn and cut and paint and glue and tape and swirl and swish. It’s time to pour out guts and glory on the page (or canvas or cardboard or word or fabric). It’s time to let loose, to give in to the wild side. It’s time to make art because it’s what I do, because art saves me and speaks me and gives me room to Be.
And oh man, it feels gooooood.
Amanda Fall is a joy-seeker and art-maker, blessed beyond belief to create and edit Sprout online magazine. She invites you on a mission to color the world, to seek beauty in the mundane, to practice gratitude, and to celebrate abundant joy in this divinely blessed life. Join the conversation on Facebook, in the pages of Sprout, and at her personal blog Persistent Green.