Finding your inner artist, day 13: About toolboxes, hard graft and letting go when it matters

Today’s quote:

You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail. ~ Charlie Parker

[Portrait of Charlie Parker, Three Deuces, New...
[Portrait of Charlie Parker, Three Deuces, New York, N.Y., ca. Aug. 1947] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)
You need to learn your craft. You need to spend time on honing your skills. You cannot expect to get success handed out to you without working your socks off. There is no instant gratification – if that’s what you expect, you might be in for a massive disappointment.

Have you ever met one of these artists who are never ready to step out there though? Who always “need to learn more”? Who still need to put a few finishing touches to whatever they are creating? Only that they never finish it?

You need to let go at some point. The singer or instrumentalist needs to trust their muscle memory to take over, and then infuse their craft with life. The writer needs to trust the technical skill they have developed over the years, and just tell the story. The painter needs to trust their ability to use appropriate technical skill to bring their painting to life.

Creating art is about a lot of hard work, and finding the right tools in our toolboxes. Only knowing how to hit a nail won’t build anything though…

© Petra Raspel 2013

4 Comments

  1. That’s a hard lesson to learn, and one that you don’t really understand till it happens. Letting go of yourself to just do it, and learning to let go of a work when it is finished and before it is spoiled – another barrier that has to be leapt over. I suppose it is a sort of Zen thing. Have you noticed how some paintings and music just flows, whilst others are uptight, the inner self is expressed in the work. Thankyou for your blog which is very helpful. Tony

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Tony.
      I know exactly what you mean about spoiling whatever we’re working on by not finding the right moment to let go. It’s a very hard lesson to learn, and I guess it’s also a lot about letting go of our ego.
      Glad you enjoy the posts, hope to see you around more often 🙂

      Like

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