Journal Entry by Veronica Jones
Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Actually, for me, getting started is pretty much always the hardest part. Harnessing creativity on a good day (without pandemics or other major life stressors) can sometimes feel like wrestling water, which can be fun but other times feel like you may be accidentally a downing yourself. When things are stressful, abnormal, and entirely devoid of routine, noticing and giving space to creativity can feel anywhere from selfish to downright wrong.
The most recent piece I completed is called Sister Summer, and took me 12 days of quarantine to convince myself to do, and even more to finish. And now that it's done, I fully believe now is as good of a time as any to make art and use that creativity that's bubbling up in people all over the world. The creative ways people are connecting, helping, and entertaining are inspiring, and documenting this in real time, whether or not your content reflects these things, is important for acknowledging this period in history.
As an artist who often struggles with getting started, I've found a few tips/tricks that help me "uncork" my creative bottle and give myself space to make in a low-stakes environment. For me, the biggest reason I have a hard time starting a new piece is due to a pressure I put on myself that every piece has to be noteworthy, significant, or better than the one before. I'm here to remind myself and others that this isn't true! A piece can be bad, horrible, ugly, bland, or whatever you fear it may be, and that's totally okay. It's part of your process and will teach you at least one thing, I promise. So get started, and make something bad. I dare you! Get that fear outta here, and make something embarrassingly basic and unrevised to get over that hump of putting pen on the paper or brush to a canvas.