I am always doing that which I cannot do.
In order that I may learn how to do it.
One of the first things that 90% of my adult students say when they sit down at an Art Camp session is, "I cannot ______ (insert draw, craft, paint, write...)". I hear this so often that I have developed a fast-acting response. I usually say some version of, "And I can't shoot a 3 pointer. Ask me how many times I have hit the court to try." I won't go too deep into my psychoanalysis hunch, but... my brother is a phenomenal athlete who won dunk contests and was nicknamed "The Train", which may have colored my desire to try to shoot a basketball more than say... three times in my entire life. Cuz who wants to shoot bricks from The Train's shadow? But I distinctly remember the voice that said, "you cannot play basketball". It is the same voice that says, "you will never be good at math!" (read more on that here). That voice starts to sound a lot like my own when I start to utter things like, "I am not tech savvy". Or "you know... marketing, sales, self-promotion are not really my thing"... and on, and on, and on. What do all of these things have in common? I have very little experience doing them and my fear of the unknown... or heck, I am going to be all the way real, my fear of not being GREAT at something on THE FIRST TRY keeps me from ever trying. That is the truth. Too scared to try was something I lived with for way too long. Fear comes disguised as a self-deprecating, yet totally endearing (not) proclamation, but rip the mask off the sucker and it's that pervasive little weed that will keep us from growing.
We don't expect our children to walk the first time they ever try or to recite the Gettysburg Address on their first birthday, but we have these ridiculous expectations for ourselves. The only way to out grow this kind of fear is to do the thing that our brain tells us we cannot do. Oh, this part is huge... lean in. You don't have to do it alone! Find someone who knows how to do the thing you "cannot" do and ask them for help. Sometimes this might cost a little money and sometimes this might come in incremental stages. Sometimes this might lead you to a step-by-step tutorial, but all of these little actions will take you to the land of "I'm doing it!"
Two weeks ago my wise grasshopper friend offered to help me shoot the video for our Egg Carton Mermaid Dolls. This morning I put the finishing touches on the very first video that I have ever created (outside of an app on my phone) from start to finish. I had a little help from my husband and my *11 year old (I highly recommend getting one of *those for tech projects). When we uploaded our soon to break the internet video (power of intention y'all... ha ha) to our YouTube channel, I turned to my husband and said, "I am so proud of us. We have done so many things that we "could never do" in the past 9 months. Look at all the things we know how to do now!" Ri, (my 11 year old IT girl) cue the heartfelt instrumental.
Guys, take it from me and my boy, Pablo... DO the things that you cannot do so you can learn how to do 'em.
Most of you have seen Pablo Picasso's doves and his famous portraits of lovers, lords, and ladies. His distorted cubist faces, horses, and bulls. Did you also know that he painted on vessels and erected giant sculptures out of stone and steel... and cardboard??? He did and you can make your own version with a few readily available materials. But first let's get inspired by the master works...
- print out our four page face printable on card stock
- or, you can draw your own on 8.5 x 11 cardboard, poster board, or thick mixed media paper
- 1 paper tube (paper towel size)
- small 5" x 5" cardboard square for base
- set of oil pastels
- glue stick
- acrylic or tempera paint (we used black, white, blue, and mint green)
- black marker for details
- scissors for cutting paper
- ceramic blade or utility knife and a grown up for cutting cardboard
- PVC glue or hot glue gun
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