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OMG You’ve Ruined It!


I have such a big fear of spoiling things. Either spoiling things for myself of a fear of external things spoiling things for me. It affects pretty much all areas of my life, for example I find it very hard to order off a menu, in case the choice turns out to be ‘wrong’ or disappointing.

Similar with art. What if this colour is the wrong one, what if this stamp makes things look ugly, what if I ruin the pretty face I’ve sketched once I add colour to it? It is so stifling as it always imbues the next thing with so much risk. I recognise that this is once again my fear trying to protect me from disappointment. If I don’t take the risk, I can’t ‘spoil it’ and can’t be disappointed (order the same thing off the menu every time… wait ages to create another art piece in case the next one is going to be super horrible).

I watched an art video by Tamara Laporte recently in which she draws with black marker pen on the face she’s just painted. My initial reaction is “OMG no! That’ll ruin it!”. Except, it turns out that actually it doesn’t. I learned from this.

  1. The next step is the next step. It does not inherently hold ruining power.
  2. If you don’t like it, you can paint over it. Mixed media is all about layers. The ‘flawed’ layer can become a building block to a more complex finished piece.
  3. Your latest art piece is not you. It’s an expression of you, but it does not personify you. If it is ‘bad’ (such a subjective concept anyway!), it doesn’t mean you’re destined to make ‘bad art’ forevermore.
  4. You’re allowed to practice. Make mistakes. ‘Ruin things’. You may not have created something you like, but you have learned about what you do not like. Next time it will be better.

Ahh fear.. my misguided frenemy. Thank you, but not this time please.

By Iris

Hi I'm Iris! I'm a mixed media artist from London, UK. I want to inspire everyone with a creative heart to make and do what they love!

3 replies on “OMG You’ve Ruined It!”

Thanks again Iris. As always, your words have sparked deep thoughts. This applies to my fears in all aspects of life, not just my art. I often fear the wrong choice causing me not to choose at all, which opens up a whole new avenue of emotions. It’s definitely better to make a choice and move ahead (and even change it if it didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped) than to freeze where you are and not grow further.
Again, thank you for sharing your insights. This was a good way to start my day.
Love & Light to you my friend <3 πŸ™‚

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