Sometimes life teaches me about art. Years ago we found a chrysalis in a field and brought it home and sat it on our bar. A day later I was walking by and was startled to see a monarch butterfly slowly opening and closing its wings. I grabbed the kids (we had recently started homeschooling) and we took it outside to release it. Yet we were surprised what happened. It landed in my daughters hair and just calmly sat fanning its wings. A few minutes later my son put his hand up and the butterfly jumped on and continued just resting and opening and closing its wings. I think it was at least 10 minutes before it finally flew off.
There are 4 things I learned from this I’d like to apply to art.
1. Sit awhile- One thing I’ve learned about art is to be quiet and still and think. It’s something we rarely do in our society. Todd Henry from the Accidently Creative talks about the Value of Solitude in the silence and the space it can create. Several times I’ve tried his practice of sitting quietly with pen and paper for 30 minutes just seeing what comes to my mind regarding my art. It’s been amazingly helpful. http://www.accidentalcreative.com/creating/the-value-of-solitude/
2. Waiting-I’m always in a hurry to produce. I’m also eager to jump into the next thing, check off the next box, want to do the next thing. I find that waiting in the quiet can actually cause me to not only reflect, but to begin to dream.
3. Unfolding grace-2 Corinthians 4 talks about this…” Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.” I struggle with this especially when things don’t unfold the way I wanted them to. Things happen that don’t feel like unfolding grace (dead computer, rainy weather for an outdoor wedding, you owe taxes, or your art doesn’t turn out the way you planned). In times like these I forget about His unfolding grace. Could it be that even in those times that I struggle with creativity there is still unfolding grace?
4. Get ready to fly- I’m beginning again in this area. After a very hard month I recently found out that to create a habit it actually takes about 66 days. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/forming-new-habits_b_5104807.html Sometimes I think I’ve create a new habit and in actuality I stumble and fall quickly and I get discouraged and quit. I’ve struggled in October to stay in the rhythm of doing creative things. So starting last Friday I resolved to once again start doing art every day. I’m on day 9. I’m getting ready to fly, but until then I’m trying to create some new normals so I can fly.
What is this butterfly teaching you?