Whatever “THIS” is for you, just know that you already have all the knowledge, ability, skill, courage and strength to see it through.
Message For Tha Masses
Over the weekend I spent a good bulk of my time working towards bringing my self-compassion series to life. They will be the first product that I’m creating as an on-going collection of cards, posters, and apparel for my online shop opening on June 15th. The idea came to mind a year and a half ago after reading Dr. Kristin Neff’s book Self-compassion: The Hidden Power of Being Kind to Yourself. I was intrigued by this newfound understanding of how our words have a dramatic impact on how we see ourselves. Self-compassion is the act of treating yourself with the same kindness, concern, and support you’d show a good friend. When I thought of how self-compassion relates to the on-going work I’m doing with myself, I felt it was important to translate these self-building aspect into my creative work. I wanted to figure out a way to instill the meaning of being “self-compassionate” to ourselves through meaningful and empowering words of art and the concept for this self-compassion series was born.
Prior to embarking on this work, I had to understand what self-compassion means to me and how it relates to my creative journey/process. What are the things I say to myself when experiencing a difficult time and how can those words be transformed to help others? I came up with a long list of phrases and statements and tried to determine which ones have had the most impact on my life. I selected 5 from the group and narrowed them down to the following:
- You Are Not An Imposter
- You Got This
- You Are Worthy, You Are Blessed, You Are A Creator
- I Can, I Shall, I Will
- Do, Fail, Learn, Repeat
During the course of last week, I focused my attention towards bringing ”You Got This” to life. In my opinion, the statement “You Got This” is probably one of the most overused and over saturated motivational phrases out there however, it is one of the most empowering. You got this symbolizes that you have the ability, knowledge, strength, skills and everything else in-between needed to do the thing that you aspire to do. If we can harness the power of that phrase in everything we do, we’re capable of putting our doubts and fears to shame. Understanding how to translate that mantra into beautifully illustrated hand lettering artwork has been easier said than done.
When I started designing this piece, I initially thought I had everything planned and good to go up until execution time (aka my arch nemesis). My goal in creating this series is to push the boundaries I’ve set for myself and create work using new mediums and tools that I’m not comfortable with. I’ve been working towards building my water coloring skills for a year or so and the process is still very challenging especially when trying to apply into hand-lettering. Understanding water control, color theory, brush control (basically every concept behind water coloring) while attempting to paint straight lines has been the biggest hurdle. Between Saturday and Sunday, I spent 12 hours redoing this piece over and over again, each time better than the last but still no closer to getting to a final rendition that I was happy with. In the end, I had 7 fully executed versions of this concept without a single piece of work that I’m happy with so needless to say, my patience is wearing thin and I’m doing my best not to let the frustrations of “not getting it right” leave me defeated.
After lettering every day for a year, you would think the production process of making hand-lettered work would be far more streamlined by this point. The biggest difference between then and now is I’m no longer satisfied with solely creating work for likes and attention. I understand the power of words and motivational lettering art with no context in no longer acceptable to me. During the year of lettering, I was less concerned with things looking balanced and artistically crafted as I am now. I had a one and done track mind and didn’t put much thought into what I was creating. Today as I and my skill sets have improved, I want to put my best foot forward and create work that connects with people far more than a simple scroll and double tap for likes.
What I learned from experiencing immense difficulty while creating this piece is that “You Got This” ultimately means embrace the mess. It means embracing the repetition, the tediousness, the backaches, and sore necks, It represents a plea to stay grounded, to trust God, and to stick through uncertainty as I continue to learn and grow. Yes, this process of making this piece has been extremely frustrating especially when faced with my own shortcomings but with every stroke of the paintbrush, and every reattempt to make the next one better than the last, I am investing in myself and declaring that YES I DO GOT THIS!
So I say to you, whatever “THIS” is for you, just know YOU GOT THIS!
Stay in the game.
Learn from your mistakes.
And never doubt your capabilities.
Stay strong fellow curious creative!