Monday, March 2, 2015

Your 'When' and 'Where' Are Not Excuses

Choose to work from anywhere, be it an airplane, or your mother's dining room table. 

As I embarked on a weekend trip to Las Vegas, I was worried about getting my posts out on schedule. I knew that I was going to be pressed for time, and I started to get overwhelmed. I was preparing for a talk I was giving at my mom's school about the inner-workings of animation production, which left me little time and energy to work on my painting project, (or anything else, for that matter). I didn't want to delay 'showing up' altogether, though, so I made a quick sketch of me and my friend Kirsten, holding playing cards (an image I had shared last spring during her birthday party), to commemorate our upcoming weekend in Vegas. But I had yet to make a post or create a painting, despite my public announcement of posting twice a week. 

Staying consistent is hard, and creating quality work in a short time-frame is even harder, but I didn't want to sacrifice the quality of my work for the sake of getting something out on time. I knew it would be a challenge to get something I was proud of sharing out into the world, especially since I enjoy coupling my painting posts with a thought-out blog post.

Visits at my mom's house, while usually low key and fun, are not always conducive to creating original content. We usually fill our time with going to the movies, walking the dog, vegging out on the sofa, etc., but I wanted this experience to be different. There was an hour where I knew I could just sit and check social media, or I could whip out my mom's water colors, and make a quick painting. I usually only give myself an hour anyway, so I knew I could (and would) turn something around quickly.

I chose an image I had taken about a year ago of her dog, George. He's allowed on her leather sofas, and chooses to perch on them almost all the time. He'll typically fall asleep on them when she's out of the house, or home watching tv. It's quite amusing, and I try to capture as many pictures of it as I can. You can see a lot of these by searching #georgeisgolden on Instagram.
It was also my mom's birthday this weekend, and I wanted to use one of my weekly paintings as a gift for her. I chose to create this one of George because he had yet to be a subject of fine art, and plus I figured she'd love it. I was right. :)
Here's painting #4: Couch Potato (4x4 inches, watercolor)

Original Instagram photo:

I'm proud of myself for sitting down and just doing it. Setting the goal of producing two paintings a week has helped me make it a priority, even when I'm on 'vacation'. It's proof that you can make it work wherever you are, whatever you're doing, using whatever resources you have. I lucked out, because my mom had watercolor supplies (she's a high school art teacher), but I would have brought them with me had she not been equipped.

When we set goals, declare them publicly, and choose to show up (while maintaining quality), amazing things happen. We create work we wouldn't have otherwise created. The images I'm choosing for my project aren't what I would consider 'easy', which is why only giving myself an hour to paint them is actually thrilling. I don't have the luxury of perfectionism (in high school, it would have taken me two months to finish a painting). I can't over-obsess about how hard the image is to paint, because there is no time for it. I've made the decision to show up and create, so that's what I'm going to do.

Even with this blog post, I'm using my flight back from Las Vegas to Oakland to write it. I've got my iPad out on the tray table, intermittently typing in between bouts of turbulence. This is my time, sans distractions, and I'm choosing to use it this way. It's important to me to consistently produce quality content and to share it with my followers. 

This is a process for me - a new experience - and I get excited by new ideas and 'aha' moments, primarily because I get to write about them. I'm choosing to show up and create, regardless of where I am and what my circumstances are. It's never going to be easy, but it's a challenge to take seriously enough to follow through. And you know what? I'm having a ton of fun! It's a purpose I never thought I'd have, and I'm truly enjoying the process, especially when I'm on vacation. 

Who knew?! :)