conquering frustration

To be at the beginning of an idea is the most exciting part of creating. It opens up all kinds of possibilities, and since I have an obsessive personality, I can become totally absorbed by it. It’s almost like falling in love the way it becomes all consuming. However, while coming up with something new is energizing, it can also have a downside. At some point what seems like a good idea may fail in execution and it’s in the frustration of working through it where the danger of giving up lies.

It’s important to embrace frustration and make it a fueling force. Although this might be easier said than done, without the tenacity to conquer a persistent problem, there will be no advancing art. It’s the first thing I try to instill in my “How to Draw” classes. It’s all about pushing boundaries. If there are no chances taken, nothing will happen. Interestingly enough, I can always tell if a student will progress in my classes due to the way they solve problems. Every class has its stars, the student who catches on quickly and excels past the others…but it’s the student who struggles through their frustration and conquers it, who tends to advance to the next level of skill.

There will always be failures with my work, still I see this as an opportunity. If something isn’t working, I have nothing to lose except to solve it. And there lies the answer. If I approach my work with a sense of play, I’m more likely to work through my frustration and give myself permission to explore beyond the boundaries of what I already know.