“I’m so behind…”
Every single time I run a class I hear this from at least one student.
I signed up for a class called Uncluttered to help me declutter my home. It has nothing to do with art-making, (except for when I finally address my art studio, ha!) but there was a BIG aha I experienced in that class
that I believe has a lot to do with this notion of feeling behind in our art.
I don’t remember the exact phrase Joshua Becker used but it was something like our idealized self, or imagined self. He was talking about cleaning out our closets, or other spaces in our homes where we hold onto objects or clothing because of that “someday” we lose weight, or that “someday” we decide to make our own ice cream.
We can hold onto physical things because we imagine what the Carrie who will lose that weight and make her own ice cream looks like and it’s nice to spend time in hope we might someday reach that ideal.
But what if we’ve held onto those clothes or that ice cream maker for decades? Is it really serving us?
Let’s get back to the feeling of being behind. I’m starting to believe this is directly related to the imagined-Carrie (of course, insert your name here) artist I’m supposed to be, rather than the artist I actually am.
Stick with me here.
What if we feel behind because in our heads when we sign up for a class we have to finish it a certain way?
What if we feel behind because in our heads we assume we should already have a level of skill?
What if we feel behind because in our heads we think we should finish more art than we do?
What if instead of operating from a space of scarcity we could ask ourselves instead,
“What can I do as an artist and creative that integrates with and celebrates the life I actually lead?”
Would we feel so behind?
While I recorded this message specifically for students inside my program Self-Taught to Self-Confident, I sincerely hope YOU know this message is also for you.
It’s one I need reminding of regularly and I hope this discussion on mindset and learning helps you see there truly is no such thing as “behind.”
I also talk about how learning works so you can better understand the process you experience every time you explore new concepts and techniques.
I end by sharing a surprising tip for what best demonstrates your learning.
I hope today’s conversation has you reflecting. I’d love to hear your take in the comments below.
You are so wright. I spent the last 2 years practicing techniques for 15 mins everyday. The first time I did 1 month drawing my hand then taking classes on drawing a face or different parts of the face as well as the whole face. Then practicing watercolor painting techniques, different paints, different watercolor paints, different brushes, now trying Gouache paints and how well does it work on canvas instead of watercolor canvas. Since I have been working on a spiritual interest which now is done I’m looking to do some kind of project to bring all this practicing together. I’m not sure where , who, or how to begin?
I do feel behind. I watched others develop their web site and do all sorts of drawing and paints. Yes I am feeling behind and envious. Trying art journaling to search what to learn and how to begin. I keep watching your progress and struggles and success. I wonder how do you do it. I keep reading your recommendations of books trying this and that and hopefully it will someday all come together.
Thanks for your information all the way from ARTIST STRONGAnd I need to go check out Self Taught Self Confidence. So no mater what I try that I’m interested in I still need to learn what is voice in it all.
Thank you so much for sharing <3 I know this frustration all too well. Trust the journey. IF you show up and make art, and are thinking about how to combine these things, sometimes it shows up in our art without us even realizing it! It usually takes time and patience, at least for me. I'm confident that if you stick to your art Linda you will find what you seek! Thank you always for being here!