A Let Go Mindset

Letting go of our creations can be incredibly hard to do. It's a completely normal and human thing to do. We develop feelings for the work, or maybe it's the best thing we've made so far in our practice. However, getting attached to our work gets in the way of creative flow. If having a consistent creative flow is important to you, then read on!

Why is the mindset of letting go important to work into our creative practice? The act of letting go builds courage, confidence, and momentum. The more often you are faced with a blank page (or canvas, marble block, lump of clay), the more courageous you will become at creating. You will start saying the words "now what?" more often, instead of ruminating on your last opus. The more you let go, the less creativity will scare you; it will be your natural state of being!

There are lots of ways of letting go of work:

    1. Turn the Page
    If you work in a sketchbook, turn the page as soon as you finish your piece and bookmark the next blank page. The next time you crack open your sketchbook, you will start with a blank page. If you're making a painting, have a new canvas waiting in the sidelines (or behind the canvas you're working on right now!). If you're making pottery, have a board ready to place your pot and fresh balls of clay ready to go.

    2. Sell the Work
    Put the piece up for sale at your local fair, on your online shop, or hang the piece up in your studio with a pricetag so it's ready to go for your next studio visit.

    3. Give It Away
    Give the work away as a gift to a loved one (just because) or for a special occasion like a birthday, house warming, or Christmas present.

    4. File it Away
    Setup an organized structure for filing away your work that makes sense for your medium. A filing cabinet or flat file if you make drawings or paint. Or shelving for your ceramics. Label the work clearly so that you can find it later in case there are opportunities to sell or show it.

    5. Destroy It
    Thank the work for the lessons it taught you, and then destroy it. This is particularly relevant for mediums like clay where you can reuse the materials. I wouldn't recommend this route if you make anything that would cause harm to yourself, others, or the environment.

    6. Start a Series
    Start a project that can be done as a series or collection. For instance, do a 30 day series where you draw an animal every day. Put the names of the animals in a jar, and draw a slip every morning. I did a similar project called Ink Dresses where I drew thirty dresses every day for a month. Make the project bite-sized so that it's easy to do every day.

    7. Choose a Friendly Medium
    Work in a medium that makes it easy to start over. I love working with clay precisely for this reason. You can make a pot, and if it doesn't turn out as you like, you can squish it an start a new one. I do this with my botanical patterns as well: I make a pattern, photograph it, and then sweep the leaves and flora away so I can have a clean slate for the next pattern.

    There are so many more ways to incorporate "create and let go" in your practice. I hope you've found this tip helpful, I'll be back in two weeks with my next creative tip. Happy making!


    How do you let go of your creations? Share below!