Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wall of Frustration

Today started out to be a pretty frustrating day. One of the paintings I was working on just wasn't "jelling", it felt unresolved and I wasn't happy. I had hit the frustration wall hard and I was ready to give up for the day. I sent the image to my friend Will and told him about my frustration. Will, being a smart man who knows me well, sent me a text that said, and I quote "Did you really expect to master these innovations overnight? The whole point is the challenge. Being frustrated is part of the process."

Uh, well yeah, I did expect to master these new challenges and produce beautiful work right off the bat. Silly, right? No wonder I was frustrated. Even with my last series, where I knew what I was doing and what direction I was headed in, I didn't produce all "winners" so why was I expecting to do that now? I am still working out the kinks in this new body of work and yet I expected to have each piece nicely resolved and all ready to display right away. Sometimes we just set ourselves up for frustration with our expectations and I was guilty of that in a BIG way. My expectations were sky high and I couldn't reach them.

It's hard to remember that I am human and need time to figure things out. I get so impatient and want instant gratification. I've been that way all of my life and it's not a good way to be. It has led to a lot of frustration and stress. I'm trying to be better about it, especially with this new body of work. I am trying to let it evolve naturally, without forcing anything to fit into what I think it should look like. It's hard though. I forget this is a process sometimes. I get so frustrated and want to quit even though I know these challenges and frustrations are part of the process. There are no shortcuts. Everyone must pay their dues and push through that wall of frustration if they want to succeed. Fortunately for me I have friends who remind me to take a breath, step away, and then come back to it when I am less emotionally charged by not having things work out they way I want them to. Today I did that and I feel much better about the work.

I have three pieces done...I think!

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