I’ve noticed how my growing preparedness to share work in progress is like a “coming out process”. Those raw, progressional shots that I’ve started putting up in social media are like a form of self-exposure by degrees since they require of me that I overcome some deeply-stuck mindsets of old.
These include a deep insecurity around sharing what is not “perfect”, not completely “done” to my most exacting standards, showing an un-pristine face to the world. Its like coming out of hiding, making oneself vulnerable, going out without make-up. It can trigger some interesting layers of reluctance. The perfectionism that has ruled my life like a tartar has been rocked from its throne and I have joined the more playful ranks of the self-accepting mortals to whom such exacting standards are not the great cross they have opted to bear. Its been liberating and humanising to step into this domain; allowing me to laugh at myself (just a little) for taking things far too seriously.
I’ve become less paranoid about the anticipated critique, the second-guess and the judgement. Have stopped taunting myself with tangly monologues such as “they might think that I think that this is better than it currently is” or “what if they think this is the best I can do?” I’ve had to get over that my audience might not have a clue where I’m going with something and yet its alright for me not to divulge that until I’m completely ready, on my terms. I’ve stopped holding my breath for the finish point like the whole process of getting there is a race to get that pristine “face” out there all the sooner. I’ve allowed the imperfections to settle in for longer and become part of the process, to feed into the finished picture rather than always on a seek and destroy mission that rushes to eliminate flaws before somebody sees them. I’ve uncovered an irrational fear that people will question my methods, my order of doing things; that my un-taught, ham-fisted processes will come under fire and label me an imposter in the tightly knit art world. I’ve had to get over a deep-running fear of the mess in the process; the exposé of the experimental; the need to caption everything with “I know this doesn’t quite work yet but I intend to change it some more…” I’ve made the evolution more important than the idea of completion; perhaps the biggest evolution of them all!
Just putting out there and out there and out there in the raw has taught me to accept my own perpetual “work in progress” state of being; the never finished aspect of who I am and the acceptability, the honesty and the commonalty of that. There’s a power in that and such a relief; a profound moment of letting go, like bands of muscle go soft and a layer of armoury falls away. I’m now learning to apply it across all aspects of life.