On Trying Too Hard…

I’m heading to a workshop at the John Campbell Folk School this weekend. On collage. And I am anxious about it. There I’ll be, with all those accomplished artists.


I’ve spent the last weeks gearing up, getting collage-ready, scissors with blades so sharp they cut with just a glance, modge-podge jars in every room, ephemera gathered with abandon. After all, I can’t just show up with an “ordinary” collection; there must be something that will draw admiring, slightly jealous glances.

Then cutting, pasting, always looking for the edgy, out-of-the-ordinary combination. I am exhausted.

And last night I stepped back to take a look. My creations scream “trying too hard,” even to my eyes. Whatever creativity I might possess does not come to the fore when demanded, any more than I respond when a militant voice tells me to obey.

So, a lesson learned. In art, in life, trying too hard never works. Best to use that energy to get comfortable with who we are, and appreciate the talents we possess. So that’s what I’ll be working on.

Never too late for a life lesson.