Enjoy the process. They tell you that all the time. Don’t worry about the results. Just enjoy the process.
(I owe many of the following insights to Louise Fletcher’s Find Your Joy free taster course that I took again this year.)
But how can you enjoy the process if you DON’T enjoy the process that you are doing? What if it isn’t a process you enjoy?
For years, for various reasons, I wanted to improve my skills to the point I could do photorealistic paintings or hyperrealistic paintings. But the harder I tried to paint that way, the more I hated painted and felt like a failure. I don’t know how anyone can paint high degrees of realism without considering the end results during the process.
(If you are that sort of painter, I welcome any comments about how that can be done.)
And since failure is a part of the normal process for all creative endeavors, it’s easy to look at one’s misery and failure as just part of the process. Try to enjoy the process, the journey, of which your failure is an expected part, and just keep painting.
But what if you don’t enjoy the process? What if the process you’ve chosen toward a goal you think you want isn’t a process that you enjoy?
We don’t often consider that the process itself is failing us. Or that any process that makes us miserable isn’t a process we should be following.
As Louise pointed out in one of the Q&A calls during her free course, you don’t have to spend even ONE SECOND doing an art technique or process that you don’t enjoy. Try everything, but only continue doing the processes that you enjoy doing. When you cease to enjoy them, stop doing them and try other things. Constantly experiment. Find the processes that you DO enjoy.
Finding the process you enjoy will eventually and inevitably results in paintings you love.
My current process includes painting with palette knives onto a panel. That makes me happy. The results, unplanned and undomesticated, also make me happy.
Now I can truly enjoy the process.