I’m so glad I know who Seth Godin is. I want to be a Linchpin. I am a linchpin. A few days ago I was having this conversation, a conversation that I come back to a lot. A father can’t play legos with his son because the father has to build the right way? I did the very same thing creating with the notion of doing it the right way? What’s worse I taught others to do the same.
I’ve seen teachers insist that students paint a tree with green and brown. That is the “right way to paint a tree” isn’t it? What does the right way mean anyway? I feel terrible about this. Truth be told I didn’t know why I did this. It’s not like I am this controlling person. I’m not. You see at a a young age we are taught to “do it right”. We are taught to color within the lines. That Jesus is white not black. That pink is for boys and blue is for girls.
The other day I walked in a classroom and I saw all of these cool projects hanging on the wall. They were awesome and the teacher is amazing BUT THEY WERE ALL THE SAME. Oh but the kids who made calaveras, well these were awesome. I couldn’t believe my eyes and my heart when I saw what they made with the mere scraps I gave them. I say scraps because they were scraps from other projects. Sure I gave them my sample and showed them pictures but wow WOW magic happened before my eyes.
The students had and felt complete control. Each was wrong. I was curious and interested as to how and why they chose color and design. I say room 8 taught me a VERY IMPORTANT ART LESSON THAT DAY, a lesson that I think on as I read Linchpin, a lesson that I will probably never forget.
I will repaint this today. Should have kept with the first one I made.
Sadly I repainted it several times because I had to do it right. not sure I’ll be able to capture the same magic. The others might look right but there boring. I’ll never make that mistake…
-there are no impossibilities
So I am painting all these objects for my next book. It’s funny how I don’t fret about the mistakes I make. I remember the days when I’d get upset, throw it out and start over. I don’t do that anymore.
Something happens to me. I go into a, fix it or make it work mode. Now I paint over my mistakes or use the eraser tool in Affinity Photo. I think of Jon Contino’s words. You could do tons of revisions but the first one is always the best. It’s so true. I’ll get perfect color, layout or just the overall design feels good. Then perfection takes over. I dip the brush in a wrong color and doubt creeps in along with the ugly splatters that ruined my art.
How many times have I done that? PLENTY, I checked. I kept painting and repainting trees but then I realized, no I refuse to do this.
I recognize when I second guess myself. I have deadlines to meet. Oh my goodness I realize that I’ve always looked at mistakes as, what if my art is misunderstood because of a wrong color or maybe I should do this instead of that. But what if my art loses its magic the more I think and think about what I did wrong.
Yes I gotta let the kid play. She has great ideas. I trust her. Did I just write that? OK I can see why I had to repaint some of the trees. Practice helps me find that sweet balance.
-there are no impossibilities
I’m not an illustrator. I am not a hand letterer. Wait a minute, did I just write that? Yeah I did and its forever on the last page of my journal entry. Something feels wrong about this. I feel limited.
So then I go and listen to an awesome The Nose Knows Podcast. Jon Contino answers the question, when can you call yourself an illustrator. “It’s all in your head he says. You don’t need for someone to tell you, a degree or instagram likes…”
Not exactly his words but yeah that’s what he said. He’s right.
I don’t need a contest on instagram to tell me. For some reason I did look to this contest as a way to prove myself in a sense. I don’t need to do that. It was awesome to be part of this project. It was awesome to share my project. I am happy for all the winners! I’m happy that I was able to put this poster together. I am growing and working on amazing projects. Yes every now and then it is awesome to have a MOMA artist like my work. I’ll take that.
THERE YOU GO. I am an illustrator. Sure my are isn’t like the cool illustrations in a Curious George book. Nor do they have to be. That’s the point. I am an illustrator and a hand letterer. There are different styles and mine IS MY STYLE. I mean its my voice. Lots of people draw letters, with quotes, about life BUT ITS HOW YOU SAY IT. Shouldn’t I be telling my story? Yes.
All this goes back to the movie A STAR IS BORN and the phrase I learned from a character who when the world shouts impossible she says
…there are no impossibilities. She says it a smile.
and change feels good. I’ve been updating my art website. I put aside the wise trees book and started editing the Ana and George book. Seems like there’s always something to work on. The more you work on projects the better you get period. You learn not to care so much about the nonsense.
Oh right, this Friday I should post a tutorial on this fabulous pink tree. I am excited for the changes to come. I am ready or at least I believe I will be. The more you play the more confident you become too.
-Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible.
Yeah in the words of what I just read a while ago, a REAL love story is imperfect, incomplete and oh there will be tears. This is a poem I’ve been holding on to for a long LONG time……and I sat there working on it for hours-not all at once but I did.
I finally got it just right. The words are just right!
I PUT ON SOME MUSIC. The song Life is Worth Living song. An unexpected love from an unexpected artist. The words of Oprah played next, just as doubt showed up–nonetheless. All I knew was the time is now. What do you know I WROTE IT and I love the way it is. I changed a few words BUT it’s a smile and it FEELS. The poem is ready but now I have this idea to create the poem in various colors too.
Can’t wait to add this in my threadless shop.
Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible.
in the art studio! (Yes I’m here once again because you need a voice of reason.)
Sure family calls you Myra but you’re Mireya – love the name by the way. No- your ego doesn’t need to grow bigger, so leave it at the door. You’re you, but everyone else is AWESOME too! Don’t forget that.
Speaking of, that’s the reason I’m here. This past week you totally let your guard down! Just stop all the nonsense and create. It’s that simple. YES Mireya it is! I think you know quite well that your art is awesome. Not everyone will like or understand your art. I know how art makes you feel. How free you feel to do what you want. How free you feel to be you. You spent the entire summer working on your book and learning art. No it wasn’t a waste of time. Yes you can draw and illustrate your book. You are close and you will publish it! Yes you spent 4 long hours EVERY day writing but you did it.
Stop worrying about how many likes or subscribers you have or don’t have. Likes come and go. True fans are the ones who email you or give you advice. Be sure and thank them. You’re no fool! Stop acting like one. When you pursue likes, you start to do and ACT like everybody… to get these likes. Stick to your plan and create because you feel this need to let your passion run wild. Just tell your story. Come to think if it, you have some cool fans now. STOP WORRYING in general. It’s not your job to question why some people say mean words. They do, and they will.
Mind your own business! Stop going around trying to please people, wondering how you measure up. I get that you love people and want to help. You know what’s right. Don’t drive yourself crazy and burn yourself out. Sure you said and did the best- most of the time. Other times who knows what happened? You know and he knows. Yes you’ve made mistakes. You aren’t proud of them. Don’t be ashamed of them either. That’s your past and this is your today-your future. You have a good heart. Sometimes your courage gets you in trouble. Courage get the gloves ready. We’re knocking out fear with one punch-or however many punches it takes. Yeah- I don’t think fear ever goes away, but you can LOVE SO MUCH that you face it period. Wise up.
It’s okay that you’re feeling burned out with all this book writing and art learning. Take care of yourself because I love you! No matter what happens I’m your light. I’ll never stop burning. We have a book children are waiting to read, and workshops fans want to be part of. For now take your time and work on basics like watercolor washes, lettering, and just play around with ideas. Figure yourself out. We got this! Yeah he’s got us too…. he knows…knows that it’s LOVE I’m after.
Love always, Mireya
P.S. Next week Mireya’s going to share how she creates watercolor washes. Well… they’re not all done with watercolor….are you a subscriber?
Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible