There are times when this question is asked in anguish. This isn’t one of those times. This time it just comes out of a mild frustration. Yesterday I shared about the struggles with creating a painting for the context of a paint party. I shared this to deal with the importance of the context of our creativity, i.e. why are we creating and for whom? But there’s something else that really gets my goat and makes me ask, “Why, God, Why?”
Here it is. The painting that became the black canvas was beautiful in my mind. It would have been one anyone, at least anyone who likes that genre of art, would have loved to hang on their walls. I could see it clearly, the issue was, I could not make my hands create it. Somewhere in the 40 inches between my brain and my right hand (approximately) something got lost in the translation. It’s the great frustration for me in art. I can’t always seem to make something look as beautiful as it is in my head. “Why, God, Why?”
There’s only one conclusion that I can come to and I share this to hopefully alleviate your frustration. Here it is, are you ready? Nobody’s perfect. We’re not yet perfect. We will be in heaven, but we;re not in heaven yet. Here on earth, things get lost in translation, but maybe that’s okay. The fact that I can’t always capture what I see in my mind will name one of a couple things happen:
First it might make me give up on the piece. I’m not a fan of giving up, but let’s face facts. We creatives get a lot of ideas, but they’re not all good ones. Sometimes a failure is a way of showing us it’s time to let it go in for of an idea that will be more successful and work better. Don’t let a failure make you give up all creating, but sometimes it’s okay “paint the canvas black” and start over.
Look for the lesson. In this case, a failed painting inspired not one, but two blog posts that will go out to a world wide audience and hopefully help a few people to realize they’re not the only one who has these struggles.
It might make you press on. Sometimes the idea is really inspired and the frustration of not being able to actually make it happen forces us to try harder–to practice more—to develop out gifts until we can make what we see in our heads into reality.
The point once again is that failure is not fatal. We can always learn from our mistakes and move forward. The answer to the question, “Why, God, Why?” is not always apparent, but, especially in the case of our creative endeavors, there is a reason and it is a good reason because God is always good. In the case of my failed painting, I wasn’t that attached to the idea so when it crashed and burned, I was more than willing to let it go. It’s not a paint party idea, at least for now. I may try to render it as a drawing, or a piece of digital art, maybe even a coloring page where it can be more successful, but for the moment, I’ll doodle a little sketch to come back to it later and I’ll move on to what’s next.
Speaking of what’s next, I’d imagine my paint is dry enough to finish the piece and see if this one makes it or if I’m back to the drawing board. Creating is not always easy, but God is always good. Remember that and create something great today.