1/30/2016: Messy

I’m a messy person by nature. This took me many, many years to be able to admit without shame because I feel like we’re taught to associate negative qualities with being messy: lazy, thoughtless, unproductive.

For me, my messy desk or studio space reflects the freedom I feel when I’m at my most creative. There’s a kind of exciting and abundant energy in chaos that my inner muse responds to. I love the feeling of having everything out where I can see it, my next artistic whim ready to grab hold of whatever’s at arm’s length.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate things that are organized or neat or beautifully succinct in their simplicity. Quite the contrary — for a long time I used to fight my desire for coloring outside the lines, leaving lines “unfinished” and the overall loose quality to my artwork. I wanted to be like the artists I saw with a refined eye and carefully curated marks.

But in trying to suppress this “messiness” of mine, I found that I was just stifling my voice by trying to be like someone else. I realized that the purpose of art for me is to give my soul permission to run around and play. To try things. To channel emotions or thoughts or momentarily feelings into something tangible. So lately I’ve been giving myself a lot more freedom to get messy. To scribble and scratch and scrape in whatever way feels right.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I’m finding that usually the messier my work is, the more connected I feel to it. Wherever you fall on the messy spectrum, I hope you’ll give yourself the space to revel in the fun that a little chaos can bring.