Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Laws of Doing

Because it is important to me to always give credit to others when I come across great things to share..The Laws of Doing that I am about to post came from a clever and cute book by Allison Arden titled The Book of Doing! Fun little book indeed filled with great inspiration, crazy fun prompts and some quotes that can't go unmentioned...and of course the thing I found to be rather interesting in self analyzing my own  thought process about "doing" and the "limited time" constraints I seem to be feeling I have lately with my art. And so without further ado..I present to you Allison Arden's Laws of Doing and encourage you to get this fun, inexpensive treasure! Allison's laws are in pink my thoughts and responses in black!
Laws of Doing
Everything starts with nothing
I love nothing more than a blank canvas but sometimes it can be intimidating. It is that very moment you must go for it.
It is never too late to start doing
When I graduated with my bachelor degree, there was a woman graduating with me that was 87 years old. The news came out to the graduation and interviewed her as she explained that she had always longed for a college degree, but married very young and became a mother. She left her home country and moved the U.S. with her husband and felt she should do for her family rather than seek her own dreams and make them a reality. After her children were grown she took care of her ailing husband for many years and when he passed away she enrolled in college. She said she knew she would probably never use the Associate’s degree she earned...and that many people might have thought that to be silly and a waste of time. Her actions spoke in volumes to me that day. It taught me that it is NEVER too late to make a dream come true and it also reminded me that when you have a dream and you do not aim high enough or do not at least TRY..for the rest of your days it will haunt you and you will wish you had done it or regret that you didn't!
You can always find time for the things you want to do
This one I am struggling with. Because I work and have many things I am committed to that do not relate to my art world. I find it a real struggle to convince myself of this one from time to time but I know it is so. How? I am typing this blog at 12:11am even though I am tired because I wanted to share this with you :)
Choose doing
It is my spiritual (not religious) belief, that every single human being that walks this planet is given a set of gifts to offer the world. ...It is a shame in my opinion when they lie dormant and are not used and shared with the world. Just DO IT! 
Turn what you have to do into what you love to do
This is where I am at today. While I am the bread winner of my family I feel that I have no choice but to work hard to take care of us and let's face it not everyone makes enough being a creative soul to put food on the table and keep a roof over heads. If you are that lucky, or hard working I should have said...I give you sincere kudos...I have for a very long time wanted to knowledge of how to sell my work, and still maintain my other professional life. I'm working on that and have a few ideas in the works for later this summer...everything starts with nothing...remember? 
Don't be distracted by the red bouncing ball
The bouncing ball refers to any distractions. Another one I find hard to not allow. The dog needs to go out, my dad is on the phone...the list never ends.
Learn from doing
It took Thomas Edison 10,000 attempts before he got it right. 
Tell me...and I ask my students this as well.. Something you have attempted 10,000 times without giving up? I'm not going to lie...about 60 times and I would have thought it would never work but that goes to show how impatient we are as human beings and I'm sure many of you agreed with me on that one...HOWEVER
 You learn as you go...you learn from failure and you find sometimes that mistakes are blessings in disguise. 
Set a vision but be open to exploration
I have MASTERED THIS! No lie. I have so many visions of things I want to do, things I want to try, places I want to go, things I want to do before I die. Ideas flow from me at a speed I cannot often times keep up with.. I'm all about exploration! It took some time to get there after going to school for a degree in Graphic Design where I was taught that my own personal artistic qualities don't count, what matters is what the client wants, and taught that even if the client says I want this logo in two colors that I know with certainty will look like hell, I give it to them. I lost a bit of my own personal touch and self expression with that part of my education...but I got it back at God speed...it is the single most important thing in my opinion for any type of artist. The ability to explore with self expression.. 
Getting started is the first step
Ahem..this one is for my sister :) 
Taking a break can make your project better
Allison is on the money with this one. I find that the breaks I take are what lead to some of my best work. It is no different for me than the writing process. Walk away from it...come back to it with a clear head and re-read it, find new words, it triggers more thoughts and ideas and opinions and this is the same with creating art. I sometimes will get frustrated and take a break for a bit or even until the next day.  I have even paused to take a photo of it and look at the image before proceeding so that I can see it from a different perspective. We teach our tutors that they should never tutor for more than one hour intervals and we tell students do not study for more than one hour at a time without breaking. Why is that? Because you get burned out when the sessions are too long. It is that simple. When in doubt..walk always for a bit..
The things worth doing aren't easy
This could not be truer from my own experiences in life. Some of the hardest things I have ever done in my life were the most rewarding...child birth, raising children, leaving a relationship that was long overdo, going back to school after being out for 15 years and not just getting a real high school diploma, an Associates and a Bachelor Degree; Also a Masters in Higher Education specializing in College Teaching and Learning where I maintained a 4.0 GPA from start to finish. That did not come easy...it was one of the hardest things I’d ever done.
The harder it is, whatever it is, the more rewarding it will be when you achieve it. 
The things worth doing take time
I've been a parent for almost 23 years..a student for over ten years, an artist for close to 30 years a photographer enthusiast for close to ten years and I am still working on every single one of these aspects of my life to get it just right. It is all about trial and error, patience and practice and learning from mistakes and lessons.
Do for you
Oh! You thought this blog was for YOU? ;) It is, that was just a joke but in all honestly this is for me as much as it is for you. I enjoy it..I enjoy my quiet late evening hours with a cup of coffee embracing my vast array of interest..you HAVE to do something you love every day
Even if it is only for a short time..
Do and tell
This is one that really annoys me from time to time. I will be frank and honest here. When a fellow art friend asks "How did you do that" or asks for your advice or opinion, don't be a selfish witch that is very ugly and you won’t have very many friends. SHARE your ideas and techniques. No one can steal you or replace you. If someone is trying to be like you, be encouraging even if that is somewhat annoying...they can't take anything from you.. most art can never be completely reproduced..Sometimes it is the highest compliment for someone to see your technique or suggestion or ask for your advice. That means they respect your work and admire what you do. Don’t tell anyone your favorite secret or something that makes your work completely unique..but help a fellow friend out and throw them a bone from time to time. I have seen many artist go from just every day you and I and once they have a book or get punished somewhere they become so incredibly snotty and ugly that I wouldn't buy their work or throw water on it to put a fire out. 
Yes..I feel that strongly about this. Everyone needs encouragement and most artist should want to inspire their colleagues and fellow artists...you can't sit where you are in life today and say you have never drawn inspiration or an idea from something another artist did or taught. You should treat others in kind!  
Don't worry about what others think about what you're doing & don't worry about what others are doing
For a very long time I was guilty of this. I judged my own work against everyone else's and thought it was unworthy. Sometimes even today I will pick up a Somerset Studio magazine or Blue Canvas or one of my other favorites; or even click on a new blog post by one of my favorite bloggers and see their work and think to myself... I hope that someday..Someone will look at my art and be as pleased as I am when I see other peoples work. You can't compare yourself to anyone else. I’ve come to a place where I am comfortable with my own process of learning and creating.  I still think my work is not as worthy as I would like it to be but I do not let it upset me any longer like it use to.  I just keep doing what I do and aiming to improve.
Let your creativity bring out the creativity in someone else (pay it forward)
Inspire someone else. Teach. Welcome and be kind. It will come back to you.
You know what they say…karma is only a bitch if you are J
Finish your projects.
If I had a dime...for every project I started and did not finish..I'd own the world! LOL Got to work on that one for sure! 
(Arden, A., (2012). The Book of Doing. Penguin Group. New York, NY.)

And so..I leave you with a few quotes Allison used in The Book of Doing that I liked, maybe heard before or agreed with!
"Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken!"
Oscar Wilde
"You have to color outside the lines once in awhile if you want to make your life a masterpiece"
Albert Einstein
"Don;t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can't be exactly who you are"
Lady Gaga
Good night folks!
pe@ce & love

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