There is something about a clean slate, new beginnings, starting over, that appeals to human beings. We like to think that we can begin fresh, erasing past mistakes, and starting as if we come out of a void, with nothing hanging on to us dragging us back into our personal histories. But, of course, we cannot begin anew. We inevitably carry our past with us. Memories of the joys come with the sorrows, our successes arrive tied to our failures, and old habits are hard to let go.
We can only begin where we are – an amalgamation of all we have done before this moment. We can change our reactions incrementally, noticing when we react to old triggers, but, usually, we fall into the same patterns as before, repeating old histories. We diet for several weeks, eating healthy, exercising and slowly losing weight, until some stress sends us back to the potato chips or chocolate. We start new projects only to leave them half finished as the busyness of life takes over once again. We try job hunting, or searching for a romantic partnership, until the rejections pile up and discourage further action. After awhile we stop trying, too demoralized from failure, too tired to go on.
I do not make New Year’s resolutions. There is no point as they are all broken before January comes to an end.
This year though, I do make a promise to myself to continue to try to keep my dreams alive, to not give up. I have an intense need to create with my hands, to knit, spin yarn, create mixed media art, and to experiment with digital art. I am letting go of the false opinion that I should stick with one medium, but, instead vow to let myself follow my impulses to create whatever I desire at the moment.
One of my favorite words, gallimaufry, means hodgepodge. I will let my art be a gallimaufry of media, themes, styles, and projects. I will not try to coerce myself into standardizing my work. Instead, I make the following promises to myself:
- I promise to follow my need to explore and discover
- I promise to let go of the product and instead enjoy the process
- I promise to release the internal voice that says that I must produce commercially viable art work
- I promise to follow my own creative path and continually look for the joy in making art
- I vow to spend this year exploring my own creative journey, following my own artistic desires in every moment
To begin this process, here is an image I created to play with digital art journaling: