Friday at Four #3 – Identity adjustment needed

How are things going this week with your chosen practice? I hope you’re enjoying this opportunity to play and experiment. I sure am! Here’s what happened during and after my latest Friday at Four play session:

What I did last week

After sketching out a couple of ideas the week before, it was time for me to create the drawing I had in mind on real watercolour cardstock. I was afraid I’d get stressed out, focusing too much on the final product, and I wanted to stay mindful of avoiding that risk as much as possible. I’m happy to report that I was able to stay present in the process of making that illustration, without turning it into a Big Serious Thing. Yay!

What I’ve learned from that play session

On the technical side of things (because that counts too!), I’ve learned that when using those watercolour pencils on that cardstock, moving my hand on an already coloured part of the drawing results in smudging. Oops! That’s good information to have before I start going over everything with water to create the watercolour effect.

Besides that, I’ve learned that I am indeed able to stay in a mindful, curious, and playful mood even when the stakes feel higher. Setting that as my intention before getting started probably helped, too. Also, I was able to remember not to blow said stakes out of proportions. The possibility of “ruining” a piece of cardstock is not a matter of life and death!

However, the most important realization that came out of that art-making session was this: I need to revise one of the many pieces that make up my identity.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve self-identified as someone who couldn’t draw, at all. I shouldn’t anymore, as it’s obviously untrue.

I’m not a fantastic illustrator, but I can draw stuff well enough that other people can identify what I was trying to depict. Really, I have to admit that if this illustration was good enough that the whole idea behind it was clear, at first glance, to a friend who saw it through my webcam, while we were chatting on Skype – well, maybe I have to stop seeing myself as someone who can’t draw, after all…

So, I need to adjust my identity around that. Which poses the question: are there any other limits, related to art or not, that I’m unjustly imposing on myself?

My plan for this week

Easy peasy: finish this project. I only have to go over it all with a brush and water to bring out the watercolour effect. I’m curious to see in what ways this will transform the feel of this piece!

What about you?

Did you create a little space for the practice of your choice this week? How did it go? What did you learn? What’s your plan for the next session?

Please share what you plan on trying or how it went last time, if and when you feel like it. You can do it in a few words, through a picture, or any other way you can think of! You can do it here in the comments or as a post on your own blog, on Twitter (let’s use the hashtag #fridayatfour), or elsewhere – just let us know in the comments so that we can find your contribution and cheer you on!

Thanks for joining me, and happy playing!

This entry was posted in Participant observation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Friday at Four #3 – Identity adjustment needed

  1. Danielle P. says:

    I love that you proved yourself wrong about yourself! The question you pose is very intriguing, and it’s one that, in my case, stirs up quite a few deep-rooted insecurities. There’s certainly a whole lot of work to do in that direction!

    This week I decided to try something different, or rather a different way to do something. I turned four of my photos into black & white — but instead of simply removing the colour information from the images as I normally do, I didn’t desaturate them completely, leaving a very slight tint. (These are the photos.) Although I’ve seen many examples of this type of image processing, I’d never done it before… in fact, it had never occurred to me to even try! I find the resulting images far more interesting than plain old b&w, and I’m so happy that this whole new world of experimentation has now been opened to me!

    I learned that, although the paved road you’ve always traveled may get you to your expected destination, sometimes straying from the straight, well-marked path can lead to a place you’ll like even better.

    No plans for next week yet — I’ll let the inspiration of the moment lead me!

    • Josiane says:

      Ooooh, I like what you did there! While black and white pics can be gorgeous, leaving that slight tint seems to lend the image a different kind of depth. I find myself looking for the hints of colour, for the little things that say “almost black and white, but not quite!”.
      Thank you, Danielle, for sharing this first foray into that whole new world. Have fun exploring it further!
      As for the question… yeah, it’s a big one! I’m sorry it brought up insecurities. I’ve done quite a bit of thinking around that last year. The thing is that we tend to perceive the markers of our identity as fairly static, while everything around (and within) us is actually in flux, changing all the time. So, inevitably, we end up with outdated images of parts of ourselves that we need to reconsider. At least, this need to revise and update our identities means that we’re alive, and that we haven’t become stagnant!

      • Danielle P. says:

        Thanks so much for your kind comments, Josiane! <3

        Please don't apologize about stirring up my insecurities – it's not at all a bad thing! I'm very aware of their presence, and I think it's far healthier to acknowledge them than to just skirt around them (or plain ignore them). You're so right about our selves being in constant evolution and needing to adjust our perceptions of these selves!

        • Josiane says:

          You’re right! And when we acknowledge what’s there, it’s much easier to start exploring it in a mindful way – possibly with a touch of playful curiosity, even…

Comments are closed.