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Patience & Mastering Your Craft : Journal Entry #1

If you are like me, you have a disturbingly unnecessary need to be constantly #productive. And if you're anything else like me, you ask God during #meditation, "What do you want me to do presently?" In spiritual instances such as this, it's necessary to remain silent and listen. Easier said than done, I know. I eventually heard a gentle voice say repeatedly, "Patience. Master your craft." The "patience" thing is something I've been hearing for a while, and I've been working on it, but the "master your craft" bit was new.

After some discernment I realized you cannot master your craft without having #patience.

I pondered how I might be impatient when drawing, and the answer was obvious. I often rushed to get art done for my portfolio or binge-painted watercolor flower after flower. Time and time again, I would crank out pieces that looked good, but could they have been better? I took a step back and realized it probably stems from the societal pressures of having no choice but to complete your tasks quickly to meet impossible deadlines at work. But my own lack of patience amplified this habitual behavior.

I was not a patient child, teenager, or adult. I couldn't watch someone take their sweet time to order something off a menu or complete a simple task slowly. It would drive me absolutely crazy! I am also a native New Yorker, where everything literally happens in a New York minute—If you don't pay for your Deli sandwich at lightning speed, you WILL get nasty looks from grumbling patrons queued up behind you. I began to have this "If they can't do it right, do it yourself" mentality. My brain was hardwired to crank everything out quickly.

"Why would I feel compelled to complete a painting in an hour or two, when I would give a hired artist ample time to complete a paid project?"

#Illustrating in such a rushed way caused me to burn out quickly. I would walk away from drawing for weeks or sometimes months at a time. This illumination left me to ask myself, "Why would I feel compelled to complete a painting in an hour or two when I would give a hired artist ample time to complete a paid project?". I wasn't being fair to myself or my #creative process.

The key takeaway here is to slow down and savor the grace of creativity. The job that pays my bills is a rush, and that’s OK because it’s what I signed up for, but it doesn’t have to be that way after I clock out. I will teach myself to take my sweet time and place every stroke of paint intentionally, choose colors wisely, fine-tune my skills, and weave through the fabric of one project for a couple of weeks before moving on to the next.


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