I’m writing this post on Day 24 of my 30-Day Art Challenge.
On the one hand, I’ve loved this challenge. Ever since my octopus, it’s been one doodly preoccupation after another.
On the other hand, the challenge has made me feel under pressure every day to produce my own art (versus art I’ve promised and/or been paid to do), whether or not that was the right place for me to focus my energy.
That last part – the whether or not it’s the right place for me to focus my energy part- is new. It occurred to me yesterday evening when, after spending a pretty great day with my now unquestionably on-the-mend mom, I was stressing out about taking my dog for a walk. It was late; the day was disappearing and there were lots of things, including (and especially) my 30-day-challenge, that I hadn’t gotten to.
Then Lexi put her head in my lap and it hit me: making new, original, unrequested art is important, but it is not necessarily, the most important thing for me to do on any given day.
Challenge or no challenge, sometimes the most important thing for me to do is to be there for my mom or a brokenhearted friend, to deal with The Boy’s sudden college crisis or find my way through the jungle that is our new health insurance, to work on my new (cool, coming soon) web pages, illustrate a wonderful writer’s children’s book, or create a new graphic for an inspiring group of women.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is sometimes life beckons us off our plotted course, and when it does, we need the freedom to go off-road.
July, as it turns out, has been a very off-road kind of month.
Still, there have been quiet times (usually late at night or early in the morning), and when they’ve come, I’ve found myself back at the art table, lost in the soft, scratchy sounds of my pencils and pens making their way across the waiting page.
I have a week left in my 30-day challenge. I’m going to spend it slipping into my art whenever I can, whenever it doesn’t feel like a stress-filled obligation, whenever it feels grounding and expansive and soul-filling, which is, of course, how it’s supposed to feel, how it does feel, when I stop making it more complicated than it is.
See you on the other side!
p.s. This challenge has resulted in new art in the shop. Have a look!
p.p.s. I share a lot of stuff on Facebook. If we’re not already friends there, send me a friend request.