Written October 29, 2015:
The art that pays my bills is made with a computer. It’s great. I love what I do. But Blue Kat Studios isn’t just about making a living. It is about creating life. I’ve said in previous blog posts that I can not be limited to one form of creating. I have been asked if I build furniture for other people. I’ve made gifts in my workshop. Painted paintings for friends. But the only art I sell is my graphic and web design. So when I was asked to do a painting for my local church it was a bit of a mind puzzle.
When I do work for myself, I am the only one I need to please. If it take 2 hours or 2 month, if it is perfect or flawed, it does not matter. The process is joy. Life should be about the journey more than the destination.
Now here I am with a “commission”, of sorts. They aren’t actually paying me but it’s my church and my contribution. I want to get it “right.” I don’t want to disappoint. And all of a sudden it’s not about the journey. And the joy just slipped away. But the truth is, won’t it be nice if we always focused on the journey and let the pressures of getting it right just slip away. I don’t need another painting in my house. But others might, like my church. It took me a week or two of wrestling with myself. The good news is to avoid working on the painting I made an easel.
I’d been meaning to build the easel and, admittedly, it is helpful with the painting. But, if I’m honest, I was just avoiding the painting. What I needed to remember was I was asked to do the painting because people love the results of my process. My process includes taking my joy in whether it is perfect or flawed.
Updated March 30, 2017
I did end up finishing that painting a few months later and it hangs in the collection of First Congregational Church, Greeley, Colorado. And, I love that easel I built. I still battle with my process and embracing the fact that painting should be about the process not the finished product. That said the church was thrilled by the product. And here it is: