Art and life can be summed up much by a James Herriot title. They’er are all about “Big Steps and Lil’ uns”.
The meaning of life, aside from spiritual and physical needs, is to rise to new challenges and thereby grow in the process. I could give you my belief system of God and the universe but that is not the purpose of this blog or post.
I think , however, that no matter what your religious or nonreligious background you would agree that to live is to grow in some fashion. If you stop living in one sense of the word then you stop growing. If you stop growing in some form then you stop living. We have only to look at nature to see that life is not static. It is dynamic. Even those with mental or physical handicaps ( let’s face it, we all have some kind of limitation) must grow in a new and different path or direction.
How do we know if we are growing; living?
It occurred to me recently that if a thing seems a bit impossible, a goal seems unreachable then that is actually a good thing. Here I could make a vain attempt to list the many possible dreams and obstacles that you are facing in your life. You are usually the only human being that can know yourself fully. Counsellors, friends, therapists,family can give you advise,etc but in the end you must decide and it is you that must act.
In answer to this question then I would propose simply that if you fear a thing then that is a good indicator that you need to grow in that direction. Let me add my disclaimer that I am not endorsing you try to paint a picture while bungee jumping nor some other life -risking endeavour. Y’know “don’t try this at home folks!” What I am proposing is that if you fear trying a new medium or learning computer skills or whatever then in order to grow you must try and try with all your might. You cannot be afraid of failure nor success. Let me re-phrase that: you must not allow fear to keep you from trying. It is normal to be afraid.
Fear and Excitement- the key!
Fear is not the only determining factor. To be scared is not enough. You must somewhere down deep feel that little nudge of excitement. If you’re feeling in words “Could I do that? Oh no. but wait…maybe. That would be exciting if I could” then perhaps it’s the direction you want to go…er, I mean grow!
I can give you two examples in my own life. I remember being about 16 and passing by a man in the mall that was airbrushing pictures of people. My Dad said ” You should do that”. I thought ” No way! Never!” yet years later I would go from drawing funny faces on paper for a charity camp day at Tim Hortons to to doing my own caricature drawing biz in the local mall. Trust me. I remember times when my hand just seemed to be shaking too hard to hold a pencil but then something kicks in and you just have fun with it. Another challenge for me was window painting. I started small then eventually did paintings on windows that took over 30 hours to paint. One time my paint cracked near the bottom of a window do to humidity but eventually I found better products and kept on painting. No I am not chest thumping. I pale in comparison to many artists but what I do scares and excites me enough to make me happy. Now embrace that fear and boldly go into new places with your art. You can do it!!