My All American Hero – ME!

Another composition made from a stack of handcut stencils I used while making #gelatinprints. #art

Since my work schedule has changed and I get off of work earlier and work fewer days I have noticed that I’ve been filling up my sketchbook pages more regularly. I’ve always carried a sketchbook, but I feel like for a few years I noticed that I didn’t really take it out that often and put anything into it. Now, I’m filling up pages with artwork, ideas and to-do lists. I’m also noticing that I’m wanting to make sure it is on the bedside table at night before going to bed, this is because I’ll be having ideas I need to write or sketch out before falling asleep, or even waking up and needing to add things to my sketchbook. If I don’t, they will be gone by morning, no matter how important I think they are and how much I’ll tell myself “there’s no way I could forget that”. This reminds me of when I was just near the end of college and then recently graduated, living on my own and I would keep my sketchbook in bed with me always.

I was thinking about a small handful of facebook friends who have recently completely transformed themselves into the people they want to be. These transformations are physically noticeable, but the changes are not just on the surface but from inside out. I would really love that dedication and mindfulness to think about my daily actions regularly and ask “Is this something that the ideal Robyn would do?” So, back to the sketchbook. There is this part of me that is feeling more balanced and inspired, brimming with ideas and now finally having the time to work on them, but there are still all of these other inner elements that I’m still battling. TV/netflix and food probably being the biggest time consumer (and also probably the easiest ways to avoid dealing with the next issues, which are…), the resistance to actually sit in my studio and work or create unless it is 100% mandatory (I believe at the heart of this is a resistance to taking the time to make the switch from left to right brain activity, and then once there, not wanting to shut it down to go to bed, even though I have to be at work at 6 a.m.), and then lastly the fears of “what if?” and this includes all the goodies like “will I be good enough?” , “will this be too hard?” and “what if I fail?”

A couple things to mention:

The mindful approach is making me think of Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech for his Oscar a few weeks ago. Don’t laugh. I know he caught a lot of flack in the media for essentially saying “he is his own hero” but I think those people didn’t actually see the speech or weren’t really listening fully to his message. Really, he was saying he just wants to aim to be a great person, he knows he is not that person today, but it gives him something to work toward. This is part of his speech below:

My hero. That’s who I chase. Now when I was 15 years old, I had a very important person in my life come to me and say “who’s your hero?” and I said, “I don’t know, I gotta think about that. Give me a couple of weeks.” I come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says “who’s your hero?” I said, “I thought about it. You know who it is? It’s me in 10 years.” So I turned 25 10 years later, that same person comes to me and goes, “So, are you a hero?” And I was like, “not even close. No, no, no.” She said, “Why?” I said, “Because my hero’s me at 35.” So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero’s always 10 years away. I’m never gonna be my hero. I’m not gonna attain that. I know I’m not, and that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”


Easy peasy!

After reading Andrea Corrona Jenkins‘ article in the latest Uppercase magazine I was inspired to make the above image. Lord knows I can kill a project by overthinking it. It’s a lesson I need to learn over and over again. Just do it. One foot in front of another, stop looking too far ahead and just go. During the “Start a Foolish Project” course I took last summer, Andrea Scher shared a technique that she uses. She suggests breaking up a project, and writing down a list of how to accomplish it in 3 to 5 easy steps. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with a long laundry list of things that need to be done, just 3-5 things. Once you are in a step, just focus on the things within that step.

Things that my ideal future me would do differently
eating better, cooking more, wasting groceries less
losing weight, feeling better about myself via better overall health
less or no time in front of the TV
blogging more and actually publishing (you should see the looooooong list of partially started drafts)
more studio time
putting my work out there more (shows and in shops, etc.)
working on ideas I have, rather than just thinking about them forever until a newer more exciting idea comes along and I abandon the previous ideas
staying on top of my emails
writing more letters (and actually sending them)
Pretty much you can see a pattern here, that I need to follow through with things more

1 Response to “My All American Hero – ME!”


  1. 1 chris

    Maybe you should try setting goals…such as, I will dedicate three hours a week to writing and sending letters. Give yourself a star when you send one. It would be like reaching your step goal in a day. My only concern is that come 9pm on Saturday night, you’d be feverishly trying to get your three hours of writing in! he he he ;)

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