Mind the gap {31 Days}

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When I was a kiddo, I took art lessons from Miss Vanvickle. She had the perfect art teacher name and the perfect art teacher house.

It had an octagonal dome perched on top of any otherwise normal-looking red brick house, and my older sister and I walked down the street to it for art lessons on hot summer afternoons.

Miss Vanvickle was really a Mrs., and my sister, Melissa, was really 8 years older than me and therefore much more capable.

My favorite example of the disperity between our abilities was the clay sun project. (I SO wish I had a photo of these!) One day, Miss Vanvickle instructed us both to use gray clay to sculpt a sunshine face wall-hanging. Melissa’s turned out southwest-style, symmetrical, and friendly, where as my sun’s rays were haphazard boxes, its cheeks were literally balls of clay stuck onto the larger face, and its expression was fairly terrifying! Mom hung them side by side for years, and I laughed every time I looked at those two contrasting works.

I will always be impressed by my sister’s art, but after many, many years, I have finally come a long way from that scary, scary clay sun face!

Like anything else, growing in your creativity takes time and hard work. There’s a huge space between desire and making it happen, and most of the time I feel like I suck at that space.

I love ideas. I love brainstorming, dreaming, and vision-casting. Ideas come naturally to me, but following-through… not so much. Clearly, I’m no expert on this. I’m just beginning to learn how to make myself put in the time. But, whatever it is for you – the 10,000 hours of writing, the time to learn new software, the hours of failure it takes to get to one small success – I think it will be worth it.

Ira Glass puts it this way:

There’s a gap, that for the first couple years you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good, OK? It’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. … The most important thing you can possibly do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. …  Because it’s only by actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap, and your work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions.”

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

I know that video has been all over the internet lately, but I’m still encouraged by it after watching for the fifth time, so I hope you are as well.

Keep pushing through the days and years of hard work. Working towards our God-given dreams is worth it.

{31 Days of Creativity Babysteps}

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4 Responses to Mind the gap {31 Days}

  1. JSD says:

    Such wise words! Thanks for sharing.

  2. sarkisartist says:

    As I read this post and watched the video I am in my art studio staring at my canvas, knowing I haven’t “closed the gap”, that my work isn’t as good as I’d like it to be. This post provided so much encouragement to keep going. Thank you!!!!!!

  3. Annie says:

    I joined my first-ever “writing circle,” where three people just send each other their writings to critique and edit. Because our schedules are busy/hectic, it’s really kind of a “critique this when you can” kind of commitment, which is great if you’re the reviewer, but results in anxious nights if you’re the writer. 🙂 I submitted a short story a few weeks ago, and you know what? I’ve re-read it since then, and what I thought was genius really isn’t very good at all. BUT…. I wrote. I sat down and wrote, not for my blog, not for my job, but just to write. And that, I think, is success. Sometimes, the writing won’t be good. But as long as I’m writing, I’m succeeding.

    Thanks for that reminder.

  4. I am constantly amazed and delighted with watching the progression in my creations; and those of my fellow and sister artist’s who keep claiming they are not good enough. I wish they could see their works through my eyes.

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