Eye of the Beholder

original applique patterns inspired by the world around us

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." - Joseph Chilton Pearce.

Margaret Brewster Willingham dancing with Joe Jensen, 2010.

Margaret Brewster Willingham dancing with Joe Jensen, 2010.

I love this quote and believe it to be true.

It doesn't matter whether I'm choreographing a dance, planning a new design, choosing fabrics to put together, making dinner or living.   If I'm thinking of the end, at the beginning, I will either never begin, or will never get to the ending. Fear will rear its mind-numbing, suffocating head.

 When I'm focused on whether my idea is RIGHT or WRONG, I'm focusing on the ending...the outcome. This totally eliminates the process of getting there.  All the living. All the imagining. All the exploration.  All the free dreaming and envisioning.  All the creativity.

Focusing on the ending silences my intuition, the voice of God, and ties my guts in a knot.  My only companion is fear.  And fear is the enemy of creativity.  It holds me hostage in a small tight box.  

I've learned to tell fear to go to hell.... and ask myself, "Do I think it works? Do I like it?"  When I need encouragement, I get my friends' opinion. Its always good to have trusted friends to bounce ideas off of, but ultimately I have to trust myself, the still small voice, my intuition, my guts..and go with my opinion.  Trusting my opinion is taking responsibility for my art.

When the work is finished, that's when I step back and make an evaluation.  But right or wrong is still not the best criteria, I think.  Better to ask, "Is it good? Does it meet my own imagination of the idea?"

A design that DIDN"T WORK.  A friend encouraged my gut that it wasn't working.

A design that DIDN"T WORK.  A friend encouraged my gut that it wasn't working.

Sometimes my answer is YES. Sometimes it is NO.

But no creative endeavor is wasted.  I have learned something.  How not to dance that thought, what colors I don't like together, what fabric designs augment my pattern, how not to deal with a difficult issue, how to better love that person, perhaps, and that I don't like that much chili powder.