Sunday, June 11, 2017

Overcoming A Fear

Beautiful Zion landscape

This year, along with training myself in art through various experimental techniques, I also am dedicating a portion of the year to formal training.  The first training course is Legendeer.  I thought I was going to learn ideation skills and techniques and do a little hiking.  What I got was even more valuable.  Legendeer was a full week of hiking expedition and workshops.  Participants flew into Las Vegas and were shuttled out to Zion National Park to participate in this 7 days creative adventure.  

The views at the top of Watchman Trail

Zion National Park offers a spectacular backdrop to the Legendeer experience.  I went hiking on the Watchman trail, draw at the Emerald Pools and overcame a fear of heights in the canyons.  Yes, I went canyoneering at Zion, something I would never do on my own or even thought about doing before I participated in Legendeer.  We hiked to the top of the canyon and rappelled 100ft down into the canyon, followed by canyon exploration and 2 more smaller rappels.

The views on the way to Emerald Pools

At first I was convinced I was not going canyoneering.  There is no way I was strapping on some ropes and “walk” down a vertical rock wall.  That just sounded pure crazy to me.  Then I heard about the experience from others who were just as scared of heights as I was.  I don’t think most people realized it is actually completely normal to have a fear of heights.  This got me thinking about  the other fear I have with my art.  I’ve always known I have certain fear about moving forward with my art, from being afraid of fully experimenting with a piece to not finishing because I thought it was not going well.  This was always a wall I reached with most of my work and has prevented me from completing more than 3 pieces per year.

Magnificent canyons

I don’t want these fears to be a part of my life and I especially don’t want it to hamper my creativity.  I decided that if I can face one fear and push past it, I can face anything else.  That first step off the rock was nerve wracking, but I would not let the fear grip me.  The first moment I leaned back and the rope held me, I felt a small comfort.  It actually felt more secure than I imagined.  The next few steps down the incline were not too bad.  I took a peek to either side because my curiosity got the better of me.  The view was both spectacular and scary at the same time, something akin to creating artwork at least for me.  To be fair, as I’m going down the straight vertical wall, I never looked down.  All I know is that I did it.  I didn't think about it.  I just did it.  Hopefully I can do the same with my art, pushing past all my uncertainties and create beautiful meaningful artwork for all to enjoy.

During Legendeer I also came up with my project.  More to come on that in the future …

This is the canyon we all ended up in after the first rappel

Inside the canyons after the second and the third rappels

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