Infernal, 10 x 10″ Acrylic and Spackle on Illustration Board
“You are no bigger than the things that annoy you”
– Jerry Bundsen
I love the efficient wisdom of this quote. What you let bother you defines you. Makes you think twice about to what exactly you are willing to concede that power to.
I’ll admit it – I have issues with patience and tolerance. I’ve been known to complain about this or that. I even recently participated in an experiment with my wife in which we committed to not complaining about anything for 40 days. In these challenging times, I think I lasted 4 days and only because my definition of a complaint was narrower than my wife’s.
What does this have to do with making art?
As artists we’re constantly confronted with challenges and problems – sometimes we call them “failures”. We are frustrated by them, dare I say annoyed. When we adopt this attitude toward these perceived limitations, we allow them to define who we are. We cannot become “bigger” than them, we cannot go beyond them.
I have sometimes thought that my frustration with my current limitations has been the fuel which propels me past them. And perhaps there is some role played by that attitude in my progress, maybe the pot is stirred in a necessary way. But I realize that ultimately I can only move past those limitations when I drop my annoyance with them. I’ve never really fought my way through a creative limit while holding onto these feelings. It’s only when I let them go, that I am able to redfine myself.