I’m sorry to say that last year I made myself miserable as I participated in a weeklong printmaking in Bellingen.
Of course I didn’t realise I was making myself unhappy. I believed it was circumstantial – meaning i thought it was the fault of someone or something else that my work wasn’t as good as others’.
This year I’m enrolled in the same course, same teacher, same place, but I decided I needed an attitude change. Since the problems I had last time were due to being overly competitive, I decided I’d try on loosening up and having fun.
I’d like to say the quality of my work has improved but I’m not sure that’s true. However in class today I got an unexpected gift: real learning. The insight i had regarding learning seems so obvious that I’m embarrassed to tell it.
Because I wasn’t competing with myself or anyone else, I could experiment with what I was creating – mess around a little more, make mistakes, make another print with a slightly technique, and just play around.
I also had a wander around the classroom viewing the other 14 students’ work without feeling judgmental or envious – just interested.
The really interesting thing is that I heard people who seemed like they were doing pretty good stuff or even great looking work say derogatory comments about it.
It was only day one for me but it was a brand new day, and tomorrow might be one, too.