Will you believe me if I tell you that I used to be "no-fun-in-life" kind of person? Move the time machine back to 2010, and you will see a practical girl who made sure everything in her life had a purpose and was useful with no-risks attached. Hence my well-paid job as a chemist, which I truly resented but appreciated for regular income.
Twelve years ago, everything I did had to be sensible, including my art. I was trying to find my voice through realistic oil landscapes. Even though I didn't love painting them, they made sense. Everyone could understand them, they were sellable, and one day maybe even a gallery or two would want to take them in? Literally bursting with common sense!
It wasn't until I met Jamie that I realised that my life was desperately lacking joy. Believe it or not, before he showed me, I did not know that I could go on a walking trip just for the pure pleasure of it.
The most significant discovery was the realisation that art can also be done for the joy, instead of to please others. I learnt that I don't have to earn my right to have fun.
I don't have to justify my moments of joy.
No one has to understand or appreciate my art. I am okay with it as long as I know I had some pleasure in the process.
I'm not responsible for other people having trouble understanding why I do something. And truth be told half of my family has no clue why I do what I do ("and exactly what is it that you're doing?").
Today this is the strong basis of all my art teaching. Squeezing and milking that joy out of this free, creative fun is my superpower. I want you all to have it.
There are several ways in which you can loosen up and exercise letting go of the final result. This always equals more JOY! Here are a few tips which I suggest you start implementing in your next painting session.
Think of one tool or product that you truly enjoy using. Grab a piece of paper and play with that one supply. Let yourself be slow and indulgent. Really dive into the pure joy of this product, relish in this feeling. To me, it's the way my drawing ink flows down the paper when I spill it. I could do it and watch it for hours, even though no gallery-worthy piece is ever going to come out of that.
Make mud! This one thing with colours that we always try to avoid can be something fun to embrace. Just allow it to happen, play with colours that "shouldn't" be mixed together and be free of the fear of spoiling it. Spoil it on purpose :)
Do the Dynamic Paper Painting over and over again. This lesson will help you loosen up and let go of the end result. At the same time, you'll produce lots of gorgeous, messy collage papers. (Dynamic Paper Painting lesson is available for free to everyone who enrols in our free Creative Sparks Library. You can sign up for it here.)