Courtesy: Google Images
Growing up, I was never a doodler. Any types of doodles on the margins of my notebooks were small and simple geometric shapes or, at my best, a picture of a flower. Looking at an object, a landscape, or a living thing in the environment and sketching it on a piece of paper is awe-inspiring to me. Creating a piece of art without reference, letting your fingers guide the way, is certainly something to celebrate. I could spend hours at an art gallery and stare in amazement at what, to so many visual artists, comes a bit more naturally.
So what better way to get out of my comfort zone than to fill up a blank canvas.
I sat with a few basic colors and wondered what the right ratio of paints would be needed to achieve the orange and red I pictured in my mind. I tried to fathom how to create the depth and dimension I’d seen in other works of great art. I took a deep breath because I had no idea what I was doing.
I trifled with a pink and red background, mixing and blending colors as best I could. The dark loops that launched an attack across my canvas might be whimsical tree branches stretching out against what could be a representation of a sunset. Or maybe I was merely making shapes, designing a pattern?
It is so easy to get caught inside the noise that builds up between your ears: the noise that tells you to do what is most familiar to you. How do you shake up the narrative of what you know and become comfortable doing so?
Whether you identify as an artist or not, it is healthy to constantly question your creative choices—especially after years of developing habits. Those new questions are always options, never barriers. It begins with eliminating the idea of what is right and what is wrong, what is easy and what is difficult, what is familiar and what is unfamiliar. Stretching outside of your comfort zone and trying a new form of art can shake up how you view what you may be more experienced in. Or it might change the way you view the world around you. Aim for both.
I can’t say that my finished product was ready to be hung in the Eskenazi Museum of Art, but I can say that I was inspired by the task and proud to be flexing some creative muscles that I have avoided for a long, long time. Everyone has those same muscles inside, available and ready; we just tend to tell ourselves that they do not exist.
Prove yourself wrong today!