Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Step One: From being scared to being alive...

Dear Fi,

I woke up one morning recently with an image in my mind, I saw colours, shapes, everything. I grabbed a pen and drew what I saw, I described the colours, and the feelings. “This is it” I thought, “My first post for this blog”. Honestly, I got so excited about how great it will look. I even bought some special beads and the paper I wanted to use for my dreamy project. And then, Oh! I got even more excited.

However, when Tuesday came I started to feel overwhelmed. Thinking about how many different things I will need to do for this “perfect” project I panicked. Then I became paralyzed with fear. At first, I was scared because I realized I won’t be able to do what I wanted to do in this short period of time. Then I was scared that I won’t be able to come up with anything else. Finally, I got scared because I understood that I actually “must” do something and I had no idea what.

I sat. I breathed for a few minutes to calm myself down. It worked. I took a different sheet of paper. Different paints. Some small beads. And the needle I bought yesterday. I didn’t have one at home and I needed it for my “perfect” project. (Btw, the last time I used one was probably... more than 20 years ago). To procrastinate a little more I started taking photos of the things I planned to use for this piece.

It didn’t take me long (about ten photos ha, ha) to see that I’m doing everything I can to avoid doing what I was supposed to be doing. And, my Dear Fi, that was the breaking point in this process. I dropped my expectations (for something special to come out of it) and I just started to cut the paper. Soon I disappeared. I don’t know for how long I was floating somewhere between the worlds but I know that when I’m truly in the process of creating something then time doesn’t matter.

I finished my work when I felt that there was nothing more to add. Then I started to laugh. Seriously, out loud. You know why I laughed Fi? I laughed because I saw a tiny scrap of paper with a nice button attached to it, and believe me it wasn’t the masterpiece my ego wanted to create. But even though it wasn’t a masterpiece it was OK. Somehow, it felt so right and authentic. The first tiny step in my journey.

If I learned anything from this experience Dear Fi, it was the fact that from now on, come Tuesday I will be scared (hopefully this fear will lessen around the 49th post). Pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and choosing to do unfamiliar things doesn’t feel amusing at the beginning but in the end it is worth it. It is a transformation from being scared to being alive. It brings joy and freedom, and a sense of accomplishment. Even as tiny as today’s piece.



What a huge post for such a tiny piece of artwork, and I thought I had nothing to say!
Fi, I was so excited to see your post!!! It was a true surprise. Your crane is beautiful, it looks so royal (even without the head!). I love the fact that you designed this paper from a scratch (so you!). 52 cranes sounds as great as 52 different projects does. I’m curious what you will decide (maybe I should do 52 buttons? ha, ha). Isn’t it funny that we had such similar observations, about letting go of expectations and having fun? The journey has began, and hopefully as every journey it will bring some understanding and some changes to the outside and to the inside...

I cannot wait until next Tuesday, to see what we come up with :)


  1. i'm so inspired by you two i can't stand it. i have no ambitions this morning but to go sit in my craft room and create. i don't want to go sell software, i don't want to analyze data today, i don't want to attend meetings and listen to people drone on about kpis, quarterly results, and program metrics. f*&k that - i wanna get my craft on! i want to do 52 projects! i wanna play!

  2. i am just catching up on all the activity here - absolutely stunning and exciting! Sylvia, you write so beautifully about a process of art play that i have so recently and thankfully experienced. finally, the need to get something "out" of me is greater than the fear of mucking it all up. of course, your work is amazing and while i would love to see what you envisioned, i hazard to guess what emerge was magnificent beyond what you could have imagined. it is such a frightening beautiful, exciting and joyous way of being/making art. thank you for the insights into your experience.