An anniversary of sorts

“I prefer drawing to talking; drawing is faster and leaves less room for lies.”~Le Corbusier, Swiss architect

Today is my anniversary on the ATCsForAll site. I’d celebrate, but I have not been active there in months.

Balance? I was pulled to do art because I was just scrapbooking, and I was intense on creating. I created so much that I forgot about scrapbooking. Scrapbooking was almost an inconvenience at times because I had art to make.

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Sleeping Beauty ATC

ATC swap after ATC swap. Then I was tired of the small artist trading card size and moved to 4″x4″ chunkies. There was so much more to do on the larger canvas, and it was encouraged to create 3-dimensional work. Colors, gems, skeleton keys, watch parts, coins…oh, the possibilities were endfull!

I was now eligible to work on moleys: round-robin books in a self-chosen theme passed among 9 artists before being returned. I finished one just as a second began; a huge time commitment but so rewarding to create personalized art.

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Red and The Wolf

Then I did a reality check. I was still living a life: traveling, teaching Zentangle, writing and so much more. I had signed up for so many swaps that it all felt like a project, like a To-Do list. It was no longer fun. I had deadlines, I had themes, I had commitments. For the first time, I withdrew from swaps. I stopped posting on the site. I logged in only to comment on the travels of a moley.

Sometimes we all need a break. I did. I haven’t gone back to the site since December.

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A childhood fave story: the Beanstalk


Why would I ignore and avoid something that I love? Artist’s Block? When something fun turns into work, then it’s no longer fun.

I found these Zentangle ATCs in my computer’s pictures folder the other day. They were made for a “Tangled Fairy Tale” swap. I forgot that it could be fun. That I was creative. I needed to step back and see with fresh eyes. And these cards are pretty cool.

“Keep up.” The struggling part of my New Year’s Resolution comes back to haunt me. With even more art projects incomplete as deadlines approach, I find inspiration hard to come by. I stare at the supplies sitting on the table and find every reason to do anything except that. But responsibilities are just that. It’s simply a matter of focus, to consciously make time to complete and do it. Yet it’s easier to ignore than do.

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Three tangled wishes

This is why a lot of novels remain unfinished. Papers remain unorganized. Scrapbooks remain half-completed. Where do we find the focus when we can’t focus?

If only it was as easy as rubbing a magic lamp and–poof!–done. But it’s not, so time to hunker down.

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