When I posted this art piece on Instagram I chose this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert as the caption.
In practicality, I chose it because this piece had no direction. Not in the slightest.
I was sick of my watercolor paints, I wanted acrylics but had no money to buy them. I was, as usual, putting myself down about how ‘I couldn’t paint anyway so why bother’.
So I just started to flick the paint all over the paper in a kind of sulky, disobedient attitude.
In my attempts to not waste the paper I decided I’d try to make something of the mess of paint splattered across the page.
I grabbed any old black pen and started scribbling an elephant. Not sure why but they are always my go to. When I’m not set out on anything an elephant always appears.
Once she was scribbled out I thought a signature mandala might make it something of nothing.
As I was spontaneously arranging this mandala around the elephant I was thinking about how the mess was actually perfect.
This mess is exactly what it is supposed to be.
If I let go of the expectation,
If I let go of the judgment,
If I let go of the pressure,
It simply is what it is,
Which of course is all that we are.
This is when the true inspiration behind the quote came to me.
I have expectations of myself, about what I ‘should’ do, how life ‘should’ be lived, what I ‘should’ be like.
I judge myself and my abilities, how my art ‘should’ look, how my painting ‘should’ turn out.
I put pressure on myself in pretty much every aspect of life, but why?!
If I was to let go of all of that, what would be left?
Just me, as I am.
I can say or think negative things about myself, we all can, about ourselves and others.
I can think that I’m a mess, I’m shit at this, or great at that. I can think that my life is a wreck and you can think the same.
But instead of us labeling ourselves and everything we do, how about we just embrace what we are.
Good or bad,
Wrong or right.
Let go of all of that.
There just is what there is. You just are what you are, I just am what I am.