Feeling a Little Bit Crabby
Deliciously Imperfect

Detaching Myself From the Outcome

So, this arrived on my doorstep about a week ago, and I've been happily curled up with it ever since, marking up pages, scribbling down my thoughts, etc. I have always loved Patti Digh's writing, and this newest book proves to be a treasure. Patti delves into creativity....what it is, the roadblocks we set up for ourselves, and so much more. Tons of food for thought.

I am blessed to have 2 pieces of artwork in this...and doubly blessed that I got to illustrate Patti's story of our very own rock fairy, "The Queen of Arts!" Now, I've got to admit, I hadn't detached myself from this outcome. I really really wanted that piece of art to make it....my tribute to my friend, Kim. I've sent off several pieces to various publications, some picked, some not. Most, I send off on a wing and a prayer; some get chosen and others not, and overall, I'm okay with whatever happens. Not this one! I wanted to be the one to illustrate this essay...and when the book came, that's the piece I had to find! Here it is...


For whatever reason known to man, I took a huge leap of faith and used my ....insert gasps here....watercolors! So, hats off to you, my friend! As the Bud commercial goes, "This one's for you!' Kim, I did it with much love for the wonderful kind soul you are.

The first night I curled up with this book, the words "Detaching Myself From the Outcome" jumped out at me. They grabbed me, because sometimes, this detaching myself proves so darn hard to do.

Some outcomes I'll never detach myself from, but, oh - there are just so many that I need to let go of, at least as far as the results go. I'll never change some people (and who, am I, to think I should?; some pieces of art get chosen, and others don't. It's when I let go of the outcome and just let myself enjoy the making of art, that I'm happiest.

Some arguments I'll never win, and I need to let go of the energy they consume. If I can do that, I won't be walking around with a pounding headache.


I began this spread with an "idea in mind." You'd think I'd know better by now. I wanted to do one of those wonderful shilouettes using a magazine image...the ones that look oh, so cool! Well, I fussed with it. I layered paint. I made a mess.

And, then I realized that I really liked the way the paint covered image being used as a mask much better than anything I'd done. So, on she went, and there the page sat for a few days, because I really didn't know what to do next.

I saw the words a few nights later, and into the art room I went and stamped away. Perfect!

Know what's funny? As I reread the book, I've yet to find those words again. They appeared when they were needed, and I imagine they'll reappear at some point.

So...detach when you can, when it's simply not worth the energy something consumes. Don't detach when it's important. Only you can decide which is which. I just know that I need to get better at this. I need to stop spinning my wheels. Sometimes, I just need to let go.  



Connections - funny how they are made. And I also call some things "guidance", like someone has taken our hand and moved us. I, too, am in that book. I haven't seen it yet but when it hits the shelves next week I will be sure to be flipping through it in the store. What an honour to be able to illustrate the Rock Fairy, I am sure you did her proud.


Congrats, Paula!

Spot on about art and detachment ... I've learned the hard way, but I've learned. Yes, indeed.

Whispering Oaks

I love the watercolors. I like the interaction between the artist and the watercolors. The artist only guides what the colors already decided to do by themselves

Kim Mailhot

Oh, I am so honored that you felt that way about your great piece ! It turned out so well ! Isn't it such a thrill to see your work in the pages - whether you thought it would be chosen or not ! Taking joy in the process and detaching yourself from the out come once you send off the art work was a big part of the process for me. I was very excited when I was told my two pieces were chosen too. I am proud to say that we are both amongst the talented peeps in this great new book about creativity. Brava to US!
(Love the page and how it developed too ! It looks very Paula-esque somehow...)
Big Love to you and thanks for the tribute !

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