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Behind the scenes of my creative process

Decorative circle on canvas with the words our lives are connected
“Our Lives Are Connected” mixed media on 12 x 12 gallery-wrapped canvas

Friday night, I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to be the featured visual artist during Rhythm Visions Production Company, Inc.’s virtual open mic night on Facebook. I was invited to paint live for an hour during the performances. I was so honored to be considered. Of course, I said yes. (A special thank you to Renita Martin.)

It was one of the most unusual and amazing evenings I have ever been a part of—so full of overlapping energy, talent and diverse creativity. It was great to be able to share my vision for The Community Circle Project and to create the circle that you see here during a live event.

I say that now—after. You should have seen me leading up to the event.

In case you have ever wanted a look behind the scenes of an artist’s creative process, here is mine when a kind person requests my artistic skills. And, I’m only showing you because all of us on social media tend to make things look so pretty and easy. But that is not reality. Here is my reality. Raise your hand if you can identify.

My creative process goes something like this:

Requester: “Sandy, can you/will you/do you know how to [x, y or z] and have time in your schedule to do so?

Me: “Absolutely, yes.”

The result? My schedule is wide open. I do [x, y or z].The project turns out beautifully. Everyone is happy.

Now, here’s what happens behind the scenes, the part that you don’t see—after I have told the requester yes and before the end result.

Me: “Oh, God! What did I do?! Why did I say yes?! I have no idea if I can do [x, y or z]! What is wrong with me! This is going to be a disaster! I have a million things on my schedule right now. I don’t even think I am an artist! Who said I’m an artists?! I’ve seen the beautiful work of other artists and I’m not as good as they are. I should tell the requester to get one of those artists. Damn it, why did I go on a diet?! I need to eat my way through this unreasonable fear of disaster, but that’s way too many carbs! Get. It. Together. Girl!”

Then, I Google and YouTube my eyeballs off to figure out anything I don’t know. I practice, practice, practice whatever that thing is, or come to realize that, wait a minute, yes, yes, I do, indeed, know how to do it, that I have been doing it all along, and I need to trust the process and myself.

The result? The project turns out beautifully. Everyone is happy.

Now, will I remember this and skip all the behind-the-scenes drama next time I’m offered something? Probably not. That’s part of the excitement. But I want to always remember that I am enough. Always. (So are you.)

What does your creative process look like? Where does your fear show up and how do you tackle it?

 

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