I'm going to show you something embarrassing.
Remember my last post when I said I took that art therapy class when I was in the middle of a tremendous depression? One of the first pictures I started drawing was a portrait of boy whose sadness just spilled off of the paper. It was so sad, in fact, I couldn't finish it. Instead, I did something that changed everything for me.
I took a page from this guy named Alfred Adler, a therapist who came up with the idea of "acting as-if." Without getting too much into the weeds, it means acting like you're already the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it. I was sad, and the pieces I was creating were sad. I felt like I had been trapped in a cave and was grasping and fumbling for just a sliver of light to tell me I was near the surface. So I said, "Screw it" and started painting like a happy person.
I decided a happy person paint would paint with vibrant colors, so I bought a package of Michaels brightest and threw colors around that looked like Rainbow Brite had sneezed glitter Ebola all over the canvas. But I also wanted to paint a subject that made me happy. So I picked sports--and one of my sports heroes: Walter Payton. And I loosened up: my brush strokes were looser and less about "trying to get it right" and more about having fun.
Here's the before and after.
I'd no idea that one decision would have changed my life, that I would be creating art for a living. Color saved me. Acting as-if saved me. Faking it saved me.
But I knew I couldn't do it just for me: I had to help other people, too. And, you guessed it, that's for the next post.
In the meantime, even if you gotta fake it, go for it.
If I made it, you can, too.