Mistakes make the human.

Errare Humanum Est. That was our chosen class motto in upper secondary school. Our class was an art specialisation program (humanistisk linje) and latin seemed the obvious choice. Sure, half the class took it more as an excuse to be silly in the vein of "boys will be boys" but that's teens for you. That shirt still hangs around, even if it's at the bottom of a drawer :

Because, of course, it is human to make mistakes.  Not only human but essential to our very existence, after all, how would a fully conscious infant even work? 

If I were to make a list of every character flaw in existence, I'd probably tick most, if not all of them. At the same time, there is an obvious scale between overeating a delicious chocolate cake once, and being a glutton. 

So yes, mistakes are alright, sometimes even desirable, but what do we do when we get stuck, when no matter how many mistakes we make, we don't move forward? 

Move sideways? Backwards? Climb up a roof?

Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. I've tried every trick I could think of but I'm still stuck in my painting. I enjoy the process no matter what the result but at some point, there has to be a satisfactory end result too, right?

The thing with feeling silly about your attempts or feeling like you don't even have anything worthwhile to express at all is that your plummeting confidence spills out onto the rest of your life. I'm at a place right now where the moment I go to post my art, it feels superficial and performative, as if I'm fishing for likes. And so I get even more discouraged and the cycle continues. Actually, nowadays I don't even get to the point of posting, I'm just generally disappointed. 

There is a YouTube art channel called Art2Life and I've done their yearly free workshop a couple of times now. The founder, Nicholas Wilton has a way of pinpointing all those insecurities and inspiring you to search for the art within yourself. I find the workshop and the podcasts genuinely inspirational. 

Unfortunately, as soon as the show ends I always forget all my insights, and my notes look like nothing. For my errors to become useful, I need more intense daily practical work, in an environment that leaves no room in my head for everyday life. The Art2Life program sounds like a dream but it's out of my budget. However, I found something similar, almost free and closer to home that I'll be applying to soon.

It's so strange to think that I used to "just do it", when now I feel anxious about sending in crappy work samples, and my first and continuous thought is that I shouldn't even bother because I won't get in anyway. 

I've turned into a sad old lady and if I don't fix it soon, before I know it, I'll be snarling at passersby and yelling at the neighbourhood kids for pinching the plums I barely eat anyway. 


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