and lover of beanie hats…
To my knowledge, my Dad expressed himself through the medium of art from an early age. Upon finishing school, he went on to study a Fine Art degree at the University of Reading, and afterwards became a college art teacher. He then, as many artists do, got a “proper job“.
This was when he entered the world of housing, full time, and project managed numerous housing developments over the North of England. At some point during this 30 year period, he stopped producing art. The reasons for this will have been absolutely valid; having to raise 3 boys, whilst holding down a full time job, with a bugger of a commute doesn’t leave much time to “sketch”.
However over the last couple of years, and especially in recent months, the creative fire within him has definitely been relit… He can now spend hours sketching, and this seems to be purely for the love of doing it.
This, for me, is extremely inspiring because my Dad does not sit down for hours-on-end for ego gratification, nor to be lauded by his peers, nor to be super “successful” in the monetary sense, but for passion of the doing itself. The process rather than the result.
This is so important and transfers, in my opinion, to loads of areas of life. For instance, at work, you may have to complete a report or a presentation. You will enjoy doing the work, and the result/outcome will be better, if you focus on the process of it. IF you enjoy every little word that you write or speak, ironically the result will be much better, than if you focus on “OMG, how will this look when I’ve finished?!” Instead it is one-word-after-the-other, which allows you to get out of your own way.
Another example that’s very relevant to my current life situation is process orientation at the gym. I’ve been working out for years now, however, it’s only recently that I’ve started going to gym classes. One of those classes is spin. I’d highly recommend it for physical and mental fitness – every time I do it I feel as though I enter another realm – almost like an outer body experience because of the amount of energetic exertion it requires. Therefore, the ONLY reason I keep on returning to the class is because of process orientation. During the class, if I keep on thinking “F*ck, when the f*ck is this going to end?!” (other spinners WILL relate to this thought) it actually increases my fatigue. So, instead, I have to focus on the process. One-pedal-after-the-other.
The reigniting of my Dad’s creative fire could have happened for a plethora of reasons; maybe it is he simply now has more free time; maybe it has come with age or wisdom; but overall I feel as though now there is no concern about having to make a living through his art by selling it (i.e. result oriented), he seems to be enjoying it more than ever.
I’m not entirely sure whether he ever wanted to become a professional artist. But then, that doesn’t matter. Art is his passion, whether he is making money from it or not, does not define its success. The success, enjoyment & fulfillment come in the process and act of doing the thing itself.
More of a personal post this time, so thanks for sticking with me through it 🙂
All images taken on an iPhone by Alex Pegg