Monday, June 20, 2016
Don't throw it away. Just keep on going.
Once I heard an artist (not sure if it was Proko or Marshall Vandruff) say that at some point during the process of an artwork it looks like you screwed it up. He said there is always that moment when you look at it and you just hate it and feel like throwing it away and start anew. It sounded somehow familiar to me. I've been there. Actually I was about to throw this zentangle away because I thought it looked hideous. There is a mistake in the lotus in the middle, on the right side. The one that doesn't have yellow underneath. That was the first one I did and I thought it sucked. I was about to rip the whole thing apart, despite at the moment I had already invested two days in it. But I remembered that despite feeling the artwork was ruined, you just had to go on and finish it. Then more often than not, you'll see it works out well, somehow. Either you find a way to fix the mistake or it comes out that it wasn't a mistake after all, but a chance to be creative and come up with something different. Maybe it wasn't what you planned in the first place, but it is still good, or even better.
The combination of the other five lotuses (is that a word?) were a result of my efforts to fix the first one. It is not perfect but I am pleased I didn't rip it off and threw it away. I think Mother Dragon will like it too. It is still a work in progress but it's looking good. Besides practicing my pulse here, I'm also practicing patience, a lot of patience. Did I tell you patience is not my strong suit?
So I leave you this piece of century-distilled wisdom. When you feel like you screwed it up, don't throw it away. Be patient, keep on going and finish it. You might be surprised.