Time + Paint + Wood

, , 1 Comment

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
– Andrew Jackson
A while back, a co-worker dangled a project in front of me and I grabbed it. The mission: she had an unfinished wooden chest from IKEA and she wanted it jazzed up a bit. She handed over the cover (which slides off the chest) and told me that I could do whatever I wanted, but that she liked this swirly tree that decorates one of my water bottles. She also let me know that if it had browns and/or blues, it would fit in well with her apartment’s decor.Sometimes blank slates scare me. I like the idea of them, but I think I almost like the idea so much that I can’t bear to seal an object’s fate by deciding what it is going to forever be. This is why the piece of wood sat around my apartment for weeks.

On a freakishly unscheduled August afternoon, I took the first step by painting the background. I whipped out my collection of acrylics and blended together a dreamy and sea-like sky. Once dried, I kept things going by detailing a vine of gold swirls (my middle-school self would be so proud!) I even penciled in the shape of the tree.

But that’s where progress stopped.

Again, I was afraid to ruin it. [Note: I think this is why I really love designing things on computers; Command+Z is my bff!] After another couple of months, however, I gathered my courage and brought the box of supplies out once more. The tree just spilled out of me. I didn’t even have to think about the colors I was mixing or the shapes my paintbrush was laying on the wood.

This project reminded me that productivity is not just the sum of an equation. Rather, it can come from inspiration and emotion, from just setting to work and trying things out, or a combination of both. When I’m doing projects like these, I’m learning that it’s important for me to be in tune with myself and not stress out.

This makes me wonder: how do other people motivate themselves to create? If you have any tips, please share!

When I finally handed the cover back, I felt a little ashamed that I had taken so long with it. Still, I felt pretty proud of what I came up with and truly felt that resulting product was “me.” My coworker told me that she really liked it and I’m happy to know that it has been reunited with its chest, hard at work protecting her batch of knitting supplies. One craft project sheltering many future craft projects–how perfect!

My time is up and I thank you for yours!


One Response

Leave a Reply