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Quarantine Project: Day 4

Day four (though technically five). Before I show today's project, I wanted to start this post by highlighting the importance of the much needed break I took yesterday. I'm a firm believer in the need to breathe and step away from a project every so often, regardless of how low the stakes may be. In my experience, that breathing room is a make-or-break for my creativity; it's what stops me from feeling like I'm forcing something that my heart isn't in.

Since graduating film school, the hardest lesson I've had to re-learn is that breaks are normal and acceptable. Success is not supposed to feel like you're dying or wish you were dead- your best work isn't going to come from exhaustion. Creativity comes from being inspired, and to embrace that your brain has to be, you know, properly functioning. I've learned that doing nothing for one day can do wonders for the following day's work, so long as you honor that break and don't beat yourself up over it.

Now. Today's project is presented to you by the utter relief I felt after finding what I thought were my lost-forever paint brushes:

This took about a half hour of initial sketching and painting, then a few touchups later on. I used acrylic paint on a 6x8 canvas and Artist's Loft synthetic brushes. The design was inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest which I decided to make more colorful and cartoonish. You can definitely tell how long it's been since I last painted, but I'm still happy with this for what it is.

I was aiming for a lot more cartoony than I ended up with and there's still a handful of fixes to make (evening the lines, building pigment), but I rest assured knowing this painting was done from a place of genuine inspiration. I didn't overthink every detail or work myself up over the mistakes I made- I chose to be present and just let my brush do what it wanted. Because I've started to realize that the work I feel most proud of doesn't come from the praise or opinions of others. Pride in my work comes from the excitement and presence of mind that I feel in the moment of making it. And to honor that, I've had to learn to step away every now and then.

This week I encourage everyone reading this to find small breaks in their daily schedule. A walk around the block, a quick meditation, or a sacred cup of coffee- whatever revitalizes you. Make an effort to allow yourself that time to recenter and reconnect with the inspiration you're seeking. And if you find that this has helped you make something you're proud of, send it my way via this site, Facebook, or Instagram. Now is the time to share your work and hone your power as a creator; to claim your creativity and see how quickly that inspiration can spread.

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   © 2020 by Kenzi Vaughan