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How NOT to Create A Masterpiece

Story time! I’m working on a beaded art doll named Destiny that I plan to enter into a competition. It’s fiercely competitive and the exposure is great.

The nature of the competition, is exactly what’s keeping me from sticking to my daily creative practice with Destiny as my project.

I didn’t come to that conclusion immediately, or for about 2 months to be honest. I told myself there are other business projects and priorities ahead of her, but on the list of priorities- she is there with 30 minutes a day allotted to her. Yes these other things were important, but they could wait a measly half hour.

Destiny in progress

So I had to ask myself- under all the BS, what is the real reason I’m not working on her?

“I don’t know what to do next” was my first excuse, but I know that’s BS, too. When I find myself completing one section, the next step comes to me. It’s almost like a channel, that gives me just enough information to get to the next step, but nothing past that. I would be overwhelmed if it came all at once.

So I asked myself again, what’s the real reason I’m not working on her?

The shocking realization of the answer hit me like a 2 by 4. Whenever I was about to work on her, I imagined her in the competition display case with the award-winning ribbon. What?! Then, I imagined the people looking at her and what they would expect to see from my piece! What?! So, the problem was clearly my approach. 

When Leonardo da Vinici sat down to paint the Mona Lisa, was he thinking: time to paint one of the most recognizable, iconic pieces art in history? No, I speculate he was just doing his thing and painting. Or when Elizabeth Gilbert was writing Eat, Pray, Love? We know she wasn’t thinking, time to write my New York Times Best Seller! She was a woman on a journey, just like me.

New approach: Do what I do. Follow my creative process without considering what other people expect from me or my work. Only after its complete can I release my work to be viewed and judged.

The Lesson: Do what you do. Follow your heart, creative process, and what you already have inside you. Have no expectations on it until its actually completed, only then can it be released.

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