How to Be a Flawsome Artist
Updated: May 4, 2019
original blog: 2/13/2019
Let's face it. That’s who we are, as artists.
Now, I suspect that the Perfectionist voice in anyone who thinks they’ve got to do everything Amazingly Well, is possibly raising its voice in frustration and denial, saying things like “What? Flawed? No way! You can’t make me!” It makes a lot of sense that if we truly believe we are inherently flawed as creatives, that we might never really get to the place we have been clawing, scrambling, struggling to arrive at--that pinnacle of success.
So let me help you out a little by introducing a Muse called Spills, from Jill Badonsky’s Wonderful book, The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard): Ten Guides to Creative Inspiration. Jill’s book is a treasure chest of creative inspiration, represented by all sorts of Muses she has summoned up to provide us with different perspectives on what it means to be creative.
You will meet lovely souls such as Aha-phrodite: Muse of Imagination and Innovation, Albert: Muse of Imagination and Innovation, Bea Silly: Muse of Play, Laughter, and Dance. The good list goes on, and includes, of course, Spills: Muse of Practice, Process, and Imperfection.
Who is Spills exactly? We are supposed to summon up Spills when we are experiencing the frozen states of….
Fear of not being good enough, Fear of failure, Fear of change, Overwhelm, Not Knowing where to begin, Immobilization, and Unrealistic Expectations. In Jill’s words, “Spills the Imp manifests her energy as the inner part of us that relishes the discoveries that take place in our imperfect approach to the world. We evolve only when we participate, not when we sit on the sidelines fearing inadequacy.” (pp. 139-140)
As artists, we all know the experience of making “happy mistakes”—when we have done something that is a head-slapper, where we say Oh No! and then Oh Yes!— realizing that the magic of the creative process has been working to teach us how to break through our rigid expectations by having something serendipitous happen that creates glorious results.
As Jill says, “All efforts have merit in the unfolding of our beauty. None are meaningless, none are wasted.” (p. 141)
Here are a few ways you can summon up Spills. Get out your sketchbook or your journal and…
Write or draw about Spills the Imp. What does she have to say about what it would be like to be free from the need to be perfect—to be “flawsome” instead?Do some scribbling, some mark-making in whatever color you choose to use. How did it feel to free yourself up to do that?Write about a time when you made a “mistake” in art that turned out to be happy? What did you learn?Invite your Inner Critic to have a conversation with Spills. What might your IC have to learn from Spills? Is there anything they’d like to do together? A vacation they’d like to take? A creative project they’d like to team up on? In what way might they be a Flawsome team together? This is just the beginning, of course. There are so many ways to engage with your Spills—and the other Muses— to make your creative expression more fun and enjoyable.
Thanks to Jill Badonsky, my incredible teacher, for her infectious wisdom, her art, and her gorgeous flawsomeness. You can find out more about her here: http://www.kaizenmuse.com
If you want to find out more about how Flawsome you can be as an artist, contact Kathy or Cyncie at artcoachingforyou.com