Today I was feeling the pressure of a large (3′ x 5′) banner I’m painting. I’ve never painted anything this big before this project. I’ve wanted to go BIG for some time now and submitting my mock-up for this opportunity was a daring push in my confidence (read SCARY!). Actually becoming one of the 14 lucky artists who get to create a banner expanded my comfort zone to a new level (read YIKES!). So it took me awhile to throw paint (big CHICKEN). When I finally did, I completed the background and was ready to sketch out my design to begin the rest of painting. I did a tiny pencil test and, to my horror, realized that erasers do not erase marks on acrylic. Crap.
The banner loomed in front of me, marked off in a grid using painter’s tape waiting for me to sketch my work before painting. But I was totally AFRAID of making a mistake that I couldn’t erase (or even paint off because my background was an ombre style, on-the-fly paint-mixing). Ugh.
I went to my cards. I asked, “Who’s with me right now, how do I get over this fear & anxiety about my work with this banner?” I pulled a card and turned it over. It was my “Death” card. Hilarious, Universe. Yeah, it will be the death of my barely existent career as an artist if I fail to turn in this banner, I thought.
I took a deep breath and let the card speak to me about my fear:
“I am one who brings you release. I am one who needs you to lay this fear to rest, and free yourself from anxiety so you can run with your creative spirit. I am one who brings rebirth and renewal IF you release the grip of fear that is killing your creative progress. My message to you today is to lay your fear to rest and be productive.”
I was further encouraged by the dotted-swirly detail I’d added to this card, exactly the same style detail that will be on my banner when finished. I took this as a visual push to the finish of this project–and the only way to finish it is to start it. The only way I can start it is to kill the fear by touching pencil to banner, and moving onward. And I did. And I made a big mistake! BUT the progress of finally getting my drawings onto the banner also eased my anxiety, so I was able to figure out a solution that will work with the final outcome 🙂
Here’s to “killing off” fears that cramp your style.