Lately, I have been thinking about creative dreams. About how you have these big secret (or not so secret) goals in your mind, which you might ‘do one day’. I have quite a lot of those.
One creative dream that I recently accomplished was to fold 1000 paper cranes and give them away to random strangers.
Painting is another creative dream of mine. Occasionally I make paintings, like this piglet with coffee, frog prince, rainbow zebra unicorn or giraffe. I have always felt like painting is an area that I should explore in more depth; something I would love to take the time to develop. I sometimes wonder if there would be people out there interested in my work. However, I feel like I don’t have a wide enough collection of work to really ‘do something with it’, especially because most of my work gets given away as a present or confiscated by my mom to hang on the wall (love you!). For a long time I have had the number 10 in my head: if I would have 10 paintings, I would have enough to explore further possibilities. I know the number is arbitrary. Yet, I do think that having a range would help, at the very least to simply develop my painting skills. I have made resolutions in the past to make a painting every month, so that I would have my collection after a year (taking in account some slacking). However, I don’t stick to these plans, because, well, the goal just isn’t urgent enough and it easily gets swept away by millions of other to do’s.
I don’t want to look back in a couple of years and regret that I never tried. I don’t want to wish that I had spent more time on the things I actually wanted to do and less on the things I felt I should. These paintings aren’t going to paint themselves. Creative dreams won’t come true unless you make them a priority.
So I came up with a plan. If a little work over a long period of time doesn’t work (which did work very well for my paper cranes), perhaps I should try to accomplish a lot of work in a short amount of time. Say 7 new paintings in 14 days time. I know I work focused under pressure, so why not create the boundaries that I need?
Although this idea excites me, it simultaneously scares me. Normally I will finish a painting over the course of a couple of days, each day 2 or 3 hours max. After a few hours of painting I get tired and want to shift my focus. And after making one painting, I don’t pick up my brush again until after a couple of months. So I have no idea what my reaction will be to this new kind of pressure.
I also decided that I don’t have to be content with what I create in these 2 weeks. That might sound as a strange thing to state on forehand, but to me this is essential. The need to only create satisfying work is a huge burden and might get me frustrated with this whole project at day 2. So I am just going to create 7 works, however awesome or ugly, without judging. Being satisfied with the results after those two weeks would obviously make me happy. But if I don’t like what I created, it just means that I spent 2 weeks in-depth developing my painting skills and that those paintings are a necessary part of the growth needed to enable desirable future results.
I recognize the need for creating a space without stress or distractions of other things I still need to do. So over the last couple of days, I have been working hard to finish some things that are too important and urgent to ignore for two weeks. Yesterday I crossed off the last item from my list.
I have no idea yet of what I want to paint.
I am starting today.
For the next two weeks, I will lock myself indoors with a couple of canvasses and do nothing but paint, paint, paint.
Any good (painting) music you would recommend?
September 11, 2013 at 15:30
I love creating constraints or specific goals. I bet you are going to create something fantastic, and I can’t wait to see your paintings!
On a completely different note, I was offered a weekend job of being a bike-rickshaw driver. Unfortunately I had to turn it down, but I thought of you and your bike-mailman experience!
September 13, 2013 at 14:55
Sounds fun! Yeah my mail job was only a short experience. They paid only half of the legally restricted minimum wage.. so I sent them a really polite letter about it but they simply gave me the option to 1. deal with it or 2. leave. So I quit. These days I am cleaning to make a bit of money, while working on other stuff as well
September 11, 2013 at 17:44
I admire you for sticking to your dreams. Good luck with your paintings. I cannot wait to see them when they are finished xxx
September 13, 2013 at 14:56
thanks, it is weird how difficult it can be sometimes to actually give yourself ‘permission’ to spend time on your dreams, at least in my experience ;)
September 11, 2013 at 18:16
I want to see the paintings that come out of this!
Jennifer - The Deliberate Mom
September 11, 2013 at 20:56
It’s wonderful when we achieve our dreams! I can’t wait to see what you create! Cheering you on!
Green Tea and Cupcakes
September 11, 2013 at 21:53
Im in love with your giraffe painting and cant wait to see what you create next. Good luck with your plan.
joyce matula welch
September 11, 2013 at 22:14
“The need to only create satisfying work is a huge burden and might get me frustrated with this whole project at day 2.” This is such a huge statement of wisdom. My daughter is preparing to apply to graduate school for her MFA and I just read your blog to her. It helped. Wishing you the best! Can’t wait to see what you create :)
September 13, 2013 at 14:58
That’s great to hear! Sounds like a really stressful time, I hope everything turns out as hoped for! (and if not, perhaps my rejection chart will help :p http://magicaldaydream.blogspot.nl/2013/03/how-to-deal-with-rejection.html
joyce matula welch
September 13, 2013 at 18:23
She printed your rejection chart and has it on her cork board. :)
September 11, 2013 at 23:04
oh this is such a good idea! if you have the time and opportunity just get on with it, it won’t happen otherwise.
I listen to a lot of radio and podcasts when I’m getting on with crafty stuff
September 13, 2013 at 14:59
thanks for the tip. podcasts sound like a definite possibility
September 11, 2013 at 23:36
I bet you’re really talented, haha! *u* Good luck on your art adventuresss!~ <3
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September 12, 2013 at 00:10
That is so cool and exciting. Great that you predetermined that you didn’t have to feel good about every painting in the end, so you can truly enjoy the immersion experience.
September 12, 2013 at 02:32
Your paintings are really beautiful. Loved the piglet with coffee. Sometimes we work best under pressure. If we don’t push ourselves we procrastinate. This is coming from someone who has been working on and off for three years on a short story, so I know the feeling.
September 13, 2013 at 15:00
Haha I can relate to that. My paper crane project also took me 2 years to finish. Sometimes we just need the time :)
September 12, 2013 at 03:24
Just do it, just dive in. No expectations or pressures, just time set aside for you and the brush to see what happens.
And I wanted to say thank you for the crane. It brightened my day so much and changed my day around in a wonderful way. And my little girl would say thank you for the balloon if she had the words to do so. :)
September 13, 2013 at 15:00
Ahh that’s so good to hear! makes me happy :)
September 13, 2013 at 12:31
I can’t wait to see what you create. So exciting. I bet it will be amazing.
September 13, 2013 at 14:00
such a cool idea! i meant to comment on this the other day, but i was reading on my iphone.
good painting music…hmm…
for mostly instrumental stuff, which is good for being creative, i like the album leaf, Dustin O’Halloran, and Yann Tiersen.
but mostly lately over here, it’s frightened rabbit. always frightened rabbit. i like bright eyes too, but he’s not everybody’s cup of tea. ;) i like really depressing music when i’m trying to do “art”.
September 13, 2013 at 15:03
Oh yeah I also listen to Yann Tiersen when I need to write, it somehow helps me focus. I’m not familiar with Dustin O’Halloran or frightened rabbit, curious to check it out! Sometimes I like a bit of melancholic music too when I make art, but I have a limited on the time I enjoy it. After a while it gets me too sad and I hop on to something more cheerful. Thank you so much for your suggestions!
September 14, 2013 at 19:09
Your paper crane project is amazing. I work for cnd, the organisation that invented the peace sign in the 50s snd for our xmas campaign I wany to send supporters s tutorial on how to make cranes for peace and then share them online. :)
September 14, 2013 at 19:11
Sorry for all the typos, posting from my Android x