art · comics · creativity · editing · joy · motivation · progress · success · Uncategorized · writing

The Joy of Completion

Hello, dear readers!

I am very excited to share something with you all – I have finished some commissions I’ve been working on for some time now! Hooray! Sparkling cider and cookies for all! Our friend Dave is a talented musician, and he wanted a couple pieces for his website and for his album art. We exchanged a number of emails and sketches, trying to get things just right, and here are the finished products!

Banner Progress 4
Dave wanted contra dancers for the banner of his music school website. Check it out here: http://mooreschoolofmusic.com/
CD Cover color draft 1
I’m super excited for his CD to come out! He’s such a talented guy!

I’m sharing these with you not just to highlight our talented friend (seriously he’s great) but also to take a moment to talk about the joy of completion.

If you know me personally in any regard, you’ll know that I have a lot of ideas. And I mean, a LOT. I’ve come up with dozens of ideas for different career paths, small businesses, nonprofits, novels, picture books, board games, video games, podcasts, and YouTube channels. How many of these things have I actually begun? Comparatively very few. Now, how many have I actually finished? Well…I’m working on that.

I fall somewhere on the ADD/ ADHD spectrum, which means I get distracted and overwhelmed very easily. Whenever something gets too challenging or stressful, I tend to turn away in favor of doing something relaxing or easy for a little while. The problem is that then I become distracted by something else, and I have a hard time returning to the challenging task. This makes it very hard to accomplish things, especially personal goals that don’t have anyone holding me accountable except myself. Aiden is an ADHD kid through and through, and his struggle is similar. It’s a big part of why we started this blog, to keep ourselves accountable to our creative goals.

Can I share a secret with you? The biggest thing that can help your determination skyrocket and your resolve strengthen like folded steel is:

Finishing something.

It doesn’t matter what it is, either! It could be a silly short story you started because it was fun. It could be a messy sketch comic that you drew on a day when you needed to vent some frustration. It could be a video that you took during a wonderful vacation that you started editing, just to see what that was like. Whatever it is, big or small, finish it. The rush of emotions you’ll experience is exhilarating! Surprise, joy, relief, excitement, wonder, pride – all these things come at you at once, like a pack of enthusiastic puppies that are so happy to see you that they just bowl you over with affection.

Now, I can’t promise you it will always be this way. It won’t. There will be times that you’ll finish something you’ve worked really hard on, only to realize that you still have a long way to go before you’re happy with it. That’s okay. That’s how you learn and improve your skills. It’s been a difficult pill for me to swallow because I have issues with not getting things “right” the first time, but I think I’m getting better at accepting that process.

At this moment though, I am just so dang pleased with how these pieces turned out. I tried out some new things that I wasn’t sure would work, and thankfully they did! I really feel like I learned some new skills and like I’m getting somewhere with teaching myself digital art. This success is making me even more excited to start working on the illustrations for “Chamomile Lavender”, the short story I mentioned last time. I’m looking forward to applying my new knowledge and seeing how it works out or how it changes. It’s going to be a fascinating and fun and challenging ride.

IMG_20170910_211803_066
Some sketches for a title page ❤ Eeeeee!

Now, I have to admit. I have an ulterior motive to writing this particular blog. I’m writing this so that future me can look back on it and be reminded of how I felt in this moment. I’m absolutely certain there will be more difficult times ahead where I feel utterly hopeless and useless. That’s just kinda my emotional situation at the moment. Recording my emotions in joyful moments like these and reading them later helps push my future self forward when I’m in a dark headspace. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Hopefully someday this process will have much less frequent repeat cycles.

Thank you for indulging my little bit of preening today. I’m just so dang excited and motivated right now! Plus, I really wanted to share this little technique of mine that helps me out when I’m feeling crummy about myself. Let me know in the comments if you experience a similar series of “hills and valleys” when it comes to the creative process. Do you manage it in a similar way, or do you have different techniques? I’d love to hear what works for you!

Have a great day, all!

Katie

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