Recently I’ve realized that I’m growing into my decorating style. I’m also growing into a clothing style and I’m growing into a lot of things that I’ve been working on: things like what I like to draw and how, handlettering, even crafty things. I’m never going to arrive. The nice (and frustrating) thing about life is that we should always be growing, tweaking, changing.
We have more natural talent in some things. We have an idea of what looks good or is appealing. We don’t know why something works but we just know that it does. But even those natural skills need sharpened. There’s that famous Ira Glass quote about the gap that you have when you first start doing things. You’re just not quite there.
I’m still not there but I’ve seen my style evolved as the years have passed and I’ve realized part of it has been giving it time. But not just blank time. You can’t sit around staring at the wall and grow.
Follow the inspiration.
Find the Instagram account with good pictures, tasteful homes, beautiful art. Soak that into your senses. Read style books and art books and biographies of other artists and mamas and women. Pin the things you like and see what’s similar in the images. Surround yourself with food for your style.
Don’t stop decorating because you know it’s not quite there. Let it be unfinished. Do it and know something is still lacking and after a few weeks or months of staring at it, you will figure it out. Doing the work is the only way to get better.
Play with new ideas.
Try a different medium with your art. Buy a blanket you like but wouldn’t normally put on your couch. Read a book that you would typically leave on the shelf. Start a podcast. Stretch your creativity. You always have the leave the comfort zone in any part of life in order to grow.
Stack your sketchbooks on the shelf. Write down the books you’ve read. Make a corkboard of visual images that inspire you. Mark off the days of work that you’re doing. Put in the time and you’ll get better. It’s more fun to watch the time go by so track it.
Surround yourself with materials.
Keep the paper and pens on your desk. Leave a book in the bathroom, in your purse, on the back of the couch. Set the cookbook on the counter and leaf through it instead of scrolling facebook. Make it easy for yourself to work instead of wasting time.
We should be constantly learning. Give yourself time to reach your dreams; it doesn’t have to happen today, or even this year. Give it time. And during that time, do the work.