Many years ago, I worked as a computerized notetaker for deaf and hard of hearing students in colleges across the city. It was like doing live captioning in classes on everything from graphic design to financial management to culinary techniques. It was a brilliant job for a learner like me!
One semester I was supporting a student who was studying to be a dental hygienist. I vividly remember the introduction to one of her classes. The instructor shared that she had studied orofacial anatomy because there was a finite amount to learn. She loved that this made mastery possible.
This is entirely different in art.
Whatever your creative medium, there are skills you learn and then hone. With every piece or project you create, you develop and deepen your expertise. And there will always be more to learn. Always.
I share this not to be discouraging but as an invitation to embrace the mystery, to choose the path of artistic adventure, to get comfortable with being a perpetual beginner. I share this to combat the inner critic that says, “You should have this mastered by now.”
Art will never be mastered.
And that’s a beautiful and essential truth, a truth to make peace with and then to befriend.
The creative force that dwells in our art has a life all its own. It is not meant to be bent to our will. It is meant to relate to us in a sacred dance of wonder, a dance that unfurls our wings every step of the way, a dance that brings both it and us to life.
Art is a never-ending journey and, as such, it gives us ongoing challenges and infinite blessings. This makes it a pursuit worthy of a lifetime.