Creative Sandbox Rules and More

I found a great blog this evening called Living the Creative Life, (<--click on her blog title to go to her blog) by Melissa Dinwiddie. She has some great quotes/memes that she encourages other bloggers to share. I've already shared them on my FB page but wanted to share them here as well. These are important because, belonging to several FB groups with newbie artists--and even many experienced ones, I see so many people filled with fear and self-doubt where their art and/or art journals are concerned, and it drives me crazy!

Why? Because it's Art. Because it's nothing more than self-expression. There are no rules. There are no art police coming to fine you or take you away in chains for making a "mistake." Whether it's in your art journal, on canvas, or cardboard, or anywhere else--there is NOTHING to be afraid of. Everything you do, every mark you make, it's all a natural extension of your creative spirit. You should be no more afraid of doing it than you are of eating, or breathing! If you don't like it, fine, gesso over it or throw it away! Then. Start. Again.

The only reason you are "afraid" of anything related to art is because you are comparing your art the other of others, or holding it up to some preconceived and unattainable ideal of what art is supposed to be: perfect, error-free, realistic, fantastic, mind-blowing, AMAZING--or any other word you want to use. And guess what? They're all impossible and unnecessary! 

The only thing your art has to be is YOURS. Pick up a pencil, a crayon, a pen, or a paintbrush. Make a mark on the page. Just scribble it. Whatever that is when you're done, it's YOURS. It's real. It's authentic. And it's art. Is it the Mona Lisa? No. And thank goodness! Leonard da Vinci's work does NOT need to be replicated! But regardless, it is art. If you want to do something more involved, great. Go for it. But focus on the process, not the product. You know what they say,'s about the journey, not the destination. And that is as true in art as it is in life.

So kick your fear and self-doubt (your Gremlins, as Melissa D would say) to the curb and go make some art. Just. Do. It. No rules. No expectations of perfection. Make it yours--that's all. And when you do something you don't like, forget it about and start anew. It's easier to walk forward than backward. :) And if you need a little encouragement, check out Melissa's goodies below. She even offers the Imperfectionist Manifesto as a free download on her site if you sign up for her newsletter. Print it out and put it where you can see it as you create. Live it. Love it. And go make art!