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Drawing: Cause and Solution to All of Life’s Problems

Drawing: Cause and Solution to All of Life’s Problems

Amy Wilson

I started off this morning with my favorite little art trick ever, one that I’ve used ever since I was a teenager. In the weird little twilight that exists between being awake and asleep – that lull that comes over you just as you start to be aware of your surroundings upon waking up – I planted an idea in my head and just let my mind take it over and fester on it.

I think if I were to put in a nutshell what all my greatest problems in life were, that nutshell would be neatly labeled “fear” – I can actually do quite a number of interesting things reasonably well, it’s just that sometimes fear overtakes me and it causes me to screw up.

Sometimes I go to say a particular word – and it could be truly anything, like a friend’s name that I’ve said a thousand times before – and suddenly get this panic that I’m going to pronounce it wrong… and in the split second between thinking the name and saying the name, this fear takes over.

And then, of course, because I’ve become so distracted and fixated on saying it wrong, I do in fact mispronounce it. It’s frustrating. It’s not that I can’t say it correctly or that I haven’t said it correctly many times before. It’s just that the fear takes over and… well, that is the end of that.

The same thing happens to me in my work – I have a problem which I know I can solve, and yet I can’t because the fear cripples me – and so this exercise is a good way to force myself to relax and just let my brain do what it already knows what to do.

So I tried it this morning on that thing in my studio that’s been haunting me – my gigantic pop-up that comes up in the middle of my book, the one that opens up to be four feet tall or something, except I couldn’t really figure out how to do it.

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