[Image credit: Karen Light]
When is it time to keep ahold of an idea and see it through and when is it time to detach and let go?
I thought I finished a painting. Then, a week later, I painted over the whole thing and basically started from scratch.
I found the flow state here and there, but mostly hit a lot of bumps in the road. There is this “click” that happens when a piece is finished and I heard nothing. I couldn’t figure it out. So, eventually, after a lot of trying, I decided to just not finish it for now and move on.
Perhaps you are a parent or you have worked with/been around lots of kids like I have. If so, bring to mind a teenager. There is an outcome that you really want for them and you try to steer them down paths that will lead them to it. But they are on to you, resisting and rejecting every suggestion you make.
You could continue this power struggle (Who hasn’t tried this many times before?!) or you could take a deep breath and let go. You could ask them what they want and how they want to get there. Then, you might start to see things clicking in their minds. Your genuine curiosity and willingness to let go was all it took for them to do the work on their own.
Ever have that experience? Well this is sort of what happened with my painting.
I detached from what I needed it to be. I didn’t even need it to be finished! In fact, I went into my studio to clean everything up and reset the space for a new project.
As I cleaned up, my painting suddenly started telling me what it wanted. (Actually, it was probably doing this the whole time, but I wasn’t open to hearing its ideas since I was so attached to my own…) What it wanted was so strong that I stopped cleaning, got out some paint again and it practically finished itself!
It wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be, but it clicked! I felt quite satisfied as I enjoyed the surprising path and destination. After all, much of the point of making art for me is to be brought to new places!
Are you banging your head against the wall trying to get into the flow or make something work? Are you constantly trying to figure it out versus enjoying the process? If so, you can watch this short video to help you determine if you need to detach and steps to help you let go.
What new and exciting places might your creativity bring you to if you detach and get curious?
Karen Light is an Artist/Illustrator and a Creative Coach at Studio Light Illustration. She is passionate about healing and nurturing the creative spirit. Empowered creatives change their worlds as well as the world and have a lot of fun doing it! Bring your creativity out to play with us during our next Creative Wisdom Doodle-Shop! Want a more individualized approach? Fill out the Creative Journey Roadmap Assessment.
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