This is now the fifth time I’ve started this blog post. The writing is not coming easily today and emotions are getting in the way.
I wish to send my thoughts to Stan Lee’s family and friends. While I never actually had the chance to meet him, my son ran into him several times at conventions. I would like to think that we would’ve gotten along quite well, both of us being creators and all.
I am thankful that I get to be a creator. Even on days when the writing isn’t going well. I know this too will pass. It, more than likely, is actually a stalling period right before a major idea strikes. Pregnant women often talk about how the baby stops moving right before it’s born, as if the child is conserving energy. Well, that didn’t happen with either of mine that I recall, but I know it happens with ideas. Usually there is a short time where I feel lacking all creativity. Then, suddenly, BANG! The story is out of the gate.
Several years ago, I went to the park and sat alone in my car. My boys were off visiting their father. I was lonely and couldn’t stay at the quiet house any more. So I sat at the park and watched the clouds drift by. And cried. Okay, I’m going to admit it now, I cried. Hard. Long and hard.
Something encouraged me to open my eyes and look toward the sky. I did, and there was this cloud floating along that looked like this twisted genie lamp. I grabbed my sketchbook and drew it out. Then I did another, and another. I went home and continued drawing these all weekend long. It’s not like I was filling pages, but whenever I felt the mood to let my hands draw some elegant curves.
I thought I’d have a major throwback this week. I’m always saying how much someone can progress if they just decide to do something and then do it.
It really is that easy, whether you want to gain a new skill or change your life.
Two step method:
Decide — nothing happens until you absolutely make up your mind to do something.
Act — you must take action on that decision. Even if you don’t know the whole path, start. Do what you can where you are at with what you have.
Google exists to give us answers. When you hit the question of what to do next because you’ve hit your limit, search. Searching is still taking action, but don’t stay in search mode for too long. Get just the answer you need and move on. Don’t expect to have all the answers at once. Some times you have to swim around in the waters to see how it feels. It stretches your comfort zone slowly, gently.
Equally important, but is something that develops naturally over time, is when you decide that you DON’T want to do something.
So, why does this ACEO merit being the ACEO of the week? Because it shows you and me how far I have come as an artist. I mean, look at that waterfall! Atrocious! I have learned so much about that, and about painting water since then. I didn’t just have the knowledge; I learned and I practiced. I now get regular comments about the water features in my newer paintings. But none of it would have happened if I hadn’t first decided that I wanted to learn to draw. Yes, my request was that simple. I wanted to know how to draw. Then I acted by taking a class. Then I decided I wanted to learn to paint water better. I read books, I took another class where water was a primary feature of the painting we were doing, and I practiced.
While it’s hard to not be jealous of someone as you admire and where they are at, just know that the only thing that separates you from them is that they had made the decision to act much sooner than you and then put the time in. You could be there too. They might even be willing to show you the tricks so speed your own journey along. Don’t let another moment get away.