Living Artfully is a journey fraught with surprises both delightful and bothersome. Experiencing a long awaited dream come true, as in the publishing of Genevieve and the Kite, is wonderfully fulfilling. Yet, as it goes out into the world, it brings back responses. Some of them are positive, uplifting, and encouraging. Other responses are dampening, confusing, and in some cases, backhanded swipes at what you’ve made.
There are many ways to weather this vulnerability in the aftermath of putting a creative project out into the world. I won’t explore all of them, but will just say that it has been helpful to me to remember something my husband once said about a knitted sweater I had made him. I was going on about a small “mistake” I had made and didn’t catch until nearing the end. He said (something to this effect): “That is precisely what makes hand knitting so wonderful. It’s the little imperfections that make it so wonderfully human. It is in them that I know it was lovingly made for me by you.” <sigh>
I can get all balled up in actual or perceived “mistakes” I’ve made in everything I do. The worst is when you thought you had made something just right and it turns out it has flaws of one sort or another. This is art. This is evidence that a human being made it, and made it lovingly, for you.
I will soon have another creative offering to put out into the world. Though I am doing all in my ability to make it just right, I’m sure it will have a flaw or two or twenty. I’ve compiled my Letters to an Artist into a small book which I hope will be of encouragement to creatives of all types. Be on the look out for it to be published sometime in November.
One of the many delightful surprises in the aftermath of publishing Genevieve and the Kite, was an article that came out in our local newspaper last weekend. Wendy Davis wrote a lovely piece about the making of the book, and I could not be more grateful to her for her kind words. I’m trying to get my hands on the article so I can put it here on my blog for you to read. I’ll let you know when I do.
On this first day of November, as a season of thankfulness comes upon us, I hope you’ll be able to revel in the creative works of your hands, no matter how flawed they may seem to you or to others. Don’t squelch your creative voice in the fear that it isn’t good enough. These mistakes, either real or perceived, are merely places for God to breathe in and through your work. (Click on the above artwork to view it larger).