Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mental Perks I Get from the Act of Paper Cutting

'Clarity'
Handmade papercut for Day 24 of #100DaysOfHandmadePapercutsOrPapercutpatternsByLee for #The100DayProject


Hello friends!

Is there something that you physically do which allows you to think clearly or process your thoughts calmly that results to clarity? 

To some people, clarity may be achieved simply by doing a single task - focusing directly on the problem and thinking it through by themselves. 

My process is a little different.
Weirdly different, you may say.
And I just discovered it while I'm in the process of doing papercuts for my 23rd Day of #100DaysOfHandmadePapercutsOrPapercutPatternsByLee for the #The100DayProject (https://thegreatdiscontent.com/100days), a 100 Day creative challenge I participated in last April 6, 2015.

The morning of April 28, 2015, before I show up on my cutting mat to make art, I'm feeling a little burdened by some concerns relating to an important decision I have to make about 'work'.

To skip my daily practice of paper cutting is definitely not an option. Just because I'm feeling down does not necessarily mean that I need some time off of my passion. Simply because that's what I do. It's already a part of my system that I feel a day is incomplete w/o doing something that relates to paper cutting.

Also I've observed in my practice that  it actually restores me. It helps me feel better when I'm down. There was one incident when I felt sad and I grabbed my cutting materials and told myself that I'm gonna do papercuts until I feel better. And I did! Cutting and slicing through paper for my art gradually eased whatever gloomy feeling I was encountering that timeI finished a beautiful piece and felt better at the same time. Art therapy works! :)

And so this morning, as I mentioned,  I showed up and made time to do and develop my craft despite the worries bugging in my head. I expected only two good things to come out of this 'bravery' of showing-up-even-when-it's-hard, #1 is that I hope to feel better, and #2 is to produce at least a decent-looking papercut.

As expected, I've accomplished numbers 1 & 2. I felt better after my practice and the papercut I produced passed my own high standard as decent-looking.

Plus, I got a bonus(!).

Third (3rd) perk I got is CLARITY.

Clarity on things that stole my joy the morning prior to my daily practice.

I was surprised, thankful and awed. I didn't expect that the act of doing my passion will allow me to process thoughts clearly in my head. Taking action on things I love to do causes my mind to relax, allowing it to function properly and do it's job well. I find it amazing how my body multitask in relation to acting on my passion. As my hands are busy and happily cutting and slicing through paper, my mind is calmly processing thoughts in my head. 

Whenever I'm paper cutting, I usually listen to valuable and informative podcasts like seanwes' (http://seanwes.com/podcast/) to provide myself with some mental or brain work to do. Doing some physical activity like paper cutting always asks for some mental work to do concurrently. I always like it this way, sort of like a combo. So in  this process, I normally absorb the values I get from the podcasts I listen to. Take the lessons or tips I believe I can use in the future. Never did I thought that my relaxed brain, caused by my manual work of paper cutting, can also do problem solving for other things I think about at that same time, which I think is really awesome! 

It's been only over three weeks since I participated in #The100DayProject and I can say that I'm more than happy and thankful of my discoveries and experiences beyond the physical development of my craft. I'm also growing, developing, and advancing mentally and emotionally as a person and as an artist. For sure this will affect the development of my paper cutting craft in direct proportion.

I now feel more encouraged to carry on with this creative and self-discovering (or life-changing) journey.


-Leeanne