Last Monday, I tried something that I’d wanted to do for about three years, but was always hesitant because of the fear of screwing up.
That’s a big one for us humans, isn’t it? Being afraid to take risks or try something new, because what if I fail, and then everyone finally figures out that I’m a fraud and then no one will respect me? No? Too far? 😀 Well, I’ll admit that I have these feelings from time to time – EVERY artist does at some point!
I’ve been making lino prints for about three years now, and after my Print Exchange last year, I feel as though I’ve got the basics down. I love the carving aspect and I adore mixing colors! And I feel like my ink coverage is pretty darn good.
But reduction prints! Holy moly. That was a whole different animal! My fear was that I would get through my first colors okay and then at the very last point – BLAMMO. I’d cut the wrong parts out and my prints would be ruined! All of that hard work down the drain!
But would it really be wasted hard work? I mean, think about scientists – they don’t stumble across the cure for polio, inventing the telephone, or figuring out the cosmos on their first day on the job. They toil for YEARS at discovery. Why do some artists feel like we have to be perfect the first time we try something? I know I’m guilty of this sometimes. It’s all about learning and process. And yes – we may have some missteps. SO WHAT? You try again and learn from your mistakes!! Seriously – what is the worst that could happen? This?
So l learned LOTS of lessons with this print – that I have enough skills to make a 5-color (counting white) reduction print; that once again, I will not wither and die if I happen to make a “mistake” (even though there are no mistakes in art!); and that I have more patience than I thought. And I very thoroughly enjoyed this meticulous process! I can’t wait to get started on my next reduction print! 😀
So what if you tried something that always made you nervous or scared that you’d fail at it? And what if you did it and it actually worked? You might be surprised at what you’re able to accomplish and how much more you know than you think you know. Maybe that should be your challenge for the week! Go on – what’s the worst that could happen? What’s the best?