Why should you do art alone?

Sometimes the deepest work of art happens when no one else is around. I can say this type of creating is so different than when it is in a group.  Things are quieter, you no longer have immediate input and you make so many decisions alone.  Picking out what to do, deciding what is important and then the dreaded stare at the blank canvas.  Many times I find myself filled with doubt and often thinking, “Why did I pick this?” Other voices say, “What if you make a mistake?”

In some strange way there is something so safe in not doing anything. Yet some how I gather my courage and begin. The majority of the work I do is alone.  For a long time I only did work in my art class or occasionally homework I got in class.  I got a little braver and I would set a goal to do one thing a month and now it’s grown to more than one thing a week.  If I want to grow as a creative I’ve got to create by myself.

The hard parts of creating things alone are:

  1. You are accountable to only you.
  2. You constantly run into questions and have to solve them yourself.
  3. You will walk away from things, but then you have to chose to come back.
  4. You will get stuck, frustrated and at times quit.
  5. You will find other things to do that are more “IMPORTANT”.  (Note there are always things more important on your to do list that call you)
  6. You will get distracted.
  7. You will convince yourself that you’ll get around to it later.
  8. You will feel so vulnerable.

I’m sure there are a 1000 more reasons to not do things alone, BUT if you do things alone these things could happen.

  1. You will have a huge sense of accomplishment when you do something alone.
  2. Every time you look at that finished creation you will remember the struggle that went into it, but you will remember the feeling of finishing more.
  3. You will grow in the ability to evaluate, make decisions and handle problems.
  4. You will learn about perseverance.
  5. You will give yourself permission to try new things when no one else is watching.
  6. You will learn that there is a huge element of work involved in creating alone, but also you will find that sometimes play and fun creeps in as you delight in doing things that make you come alive.

Thankfully I can still do a shout out when I need help or get feedback from others, but I find I do my deepest work alone.  What have you experienced when working by yourself?

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