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Don’t let her concentrated gaze fool you. This gal is terrified. Image by Author.

Embrace failure until you’re bored of it.

— Florent Farges

It happened as I was playing with my new gouache and listening to a Florent Farges video on Youtube. As I marveled at the purely matte finish of the peacock blue I’d just added to my collection, Farges said something that resonated so deeply it made me rethink my entire creative trajectory.

He was talking about creative anxiety, and the avoidance strategies we have to deal with this fear are often hidden behind a seemingly useful façade. “If your subconscious is clever about it,” he said, “you’ll find things that are relatively important, like mowing the lawn or doing housework.” It was true, and I bobbed my head in agreement as I made more color swatches. What I was doing at that very moment was one of these manifestations of creative anxiety, the “buying of new supplies” and “creating color swatches” (or, as Farges described it, “the eternal student”) has always been one of my biggest ways to pretend like I’m doing something productive without actually being productive. …


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My daughter loves Sonic the Hedgehog, has loved him since I first introduced him to her when she was around three. She’s played all the games, collected all the stuffed animal versions of the characters, draws Sonic and Tails at least three times a day, and has watched every episode of Sonic Boom at least four times apiece.

Sonic is her hero.

Ever since she was small, my daughter (whom we will call Goo) has been a hybrid of all these things society identifies as “gender-specific.” I have photos of her as a toddler playing with Hot Wheels in a sparkly tutu, have scrubbed several layers of mud off glittery light-up shoes, and have driven her to ballet practice after a day of rugged hiking and snail-collecting. …


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Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

When I first tried yoga I felt strong and well-balanced (even though I am neither). I also felt, dare I say it, beautiful, and a boost in self-esteem is definitely a bonus for me while exercising. Especially if the good feelings last the entire day.

I practiced yoga off and on throughout my late twenties, but in hindsight I realize I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I wanted to lose weight, be lithe like the instructors, and I also wanted to impress others with headstands and crow poses. …


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Image by Author

When things get tough, I like to compare myself to a Phoenix. Not only is the Phoenix an awesome, flaming bird that even Dumbledore couldn’t refuse to have in his office, but a Phoenix also cycles from birth to death and rebirth — in a spectacular blaze of fire, no less — and this cycle from birth to death and rebirth is very similar to the phases of my own creative identity.

For much of my adult life, my three most prominent pursuits revolved around photography, writing, and art. …

About

Lina Forrester

Lina is an artist/illustrator who lives by the Missouri River with her husband, daughter, two cats, a canary, and an ornery husky named Howl.

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