I Was Reminded About That by a Bloom

Watercolor & Ink on Handmade Watercolor Paper

It was week six in our fifty week challenge and the prompt was Bloom. I knew I wanted to do something with flowers (cliche I know), however I am not a great illustrator. I decided to invest some time in playing with watercolors. This is actually my second draft, the first one was way too dense. I wanted to go light and less structured, not sure I like it…but the prompt for this week is done, so I move forward.

The flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It Just Blooms.

– Zia Shin

There are pros and cons in the arena of competition. It brings us energy and vitally while at the same time tearing us apart. One of the things I like about this annual challenge is there is no real competition, except with ourselves. There is a deadline, there are parameters, yet there is never a winner or a loser. Everyone in the group is very willing to share their ‘trade secrets’ and help spread the knowledge. The goal is learning and producing work for fifty weeks without any judgement.

What would your world be like if the goal was learning instead of competition? If you didn’t have to compete for funds, promotions, or to get attention? What if you simply did what you do best no matter who was watching? How amazing it would be to not be compared to someone of something else, to be able to bring your best without fear of being judged. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t lose? If you were guaranteed a top spot in whatever it is you wanted? And if no one would compare you to the next person? The only one you would have to compete with would be yourself.

I know, it sounds a bit utopian and almost unAmerican. The basic idea is to bring your best no matter your surroundings. Stop making things a competition when the only true person you have to please is yourself. If you bring your best – every time – by trying, testing, learning, growing and advancing, you will be the best. People notice when problems are solved in innovative, unique and energetic ways. There doesn’t have to be a scoreboard to get the creative juices of excellence flowing. All it really takes is self pride in a job well done. I was reminded of that by this quote about blooms…hooray for week six!

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