For the 21st week of the calligraphy challenge the prompt was Brian Andreas. He is an artist and author who has been creating work for over thirty years. I was not able to immediately associate his name with his work, so of course I ‘googled’ him and realized I knew his art and had seen it for years. The challenge was to create something inspired by his style, words, or both.
I have to admit I had a pretty wicked summer cold, so I wasn’t able to do anything for about a week. Once I was vertical I looked him up and reviewed his work. Again I had to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of his work yet I could appreciate his freedom and color choices to illustrate his ideas. So now what? I had to think long and hard about what I was going to create. Honestly I was a more than a little stumped.
It was one of those moments when you know you need to do something and yet nothing is coming through. No ideas, no thoughts, no insights or sparks were flying. Maybe it was the cold medicine, maybe it was being weary, or maybe it was just an unenthusiastic time in my week. Whatever it was, I was bone dry on ideas.
I know myself well enough to realize that I can force work and it will be okay. People usually have positive comments on things I find forced, but I didn’t want to do that this week. I didn’t have the energy to dig deep, so I procrastinated. Another week passed and in came a new prompt, and I had done nothing on the old one…now my procrastination was putting me behind. with the pressure building I went back to his work and took another look. Instead of trying to imitate him I decided to write words in cursive how we might write them. Not earth shattering by any stretch but at least it was an idea. I put pen to paper, filled in the loops and wrote the remaining text in my own style. Not my best work but at least I reflected something similar to his style and it fulfilled the assignment.
I am reminded that everyday we do not create our best work. No one is on all the time and everything we create does not have to be hung in the Louvre Museum next to the Mona Lisa. Sometimes you have to do good enough and move on. Maybe it was recovering from the cold, maybe it was the procrastination, maybe it was even admitting that I didn’t really feel anything AWSOME about the prompt, so good enough was good enough. I had to let the perfectionist in me take a breather. Time to move on to next week’s prompt because tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to be inspired.