The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
– Anaïs Nin
I’ve just begun Creative Arts Today, a survey of contemporary art exploring two themes: Time and Place. While I prefer to track my learning manually—scratching up blank pages, childishly cutting and pasting—I’ve opted to keep a blog as well. It seems a practical, secure way to organize and quickly share my progress throughout this course, and—perhaps most importantly—offers the opportunity to contribute to an inspiring community of students.
As a hopeful Creative Arts pathway student with a focus on Drawing, I’m jumping back in to creative arts after lifelong but somewhat irregular engagement with sketching, painting, graphic design, calligraphy, writing, jewelry and accessory making. Although I’ve had some satisfying work experiences as a writer and high school teacher, I’ve consistently found that I’m a better, more joyful version of myself when I take my creativity seriously. Since the birth of my son last year, it seems more vital than ever to really find the time to listen to and fine-tune that impulse: we both deserve the most fun me as often as possible!
I feel privileged to be able to pursue art at this time, when I (finally, hopefully) have the maturity to face the vulnerability and scary risk-taking that comes with sharing what we make and how we feel about it. Samuel Beckett said,
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.
Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
I’ve never been free enough in my mind to employ such a carefree approach to trying and possibly not succeeding. Of course, an unwillingness to go for the things your heart wants doesn’t produce a better result. I learned that the hard way, although I don’t have regrets about that journey.
At this point, the essential question is: what do I want to get out of all this? Insight, context, applicable and employable skills, for sure. But mostly: a willingness to take thoughtful, creative risks and live (peacefully) with whatever results.