Frustration

2 Aug

“Frustration isn’t always such a bad thing. It’s a sign that you’re trying something new, different, or outside your level of familiarity, and in working your way through it (and you will) you conquer this challenge and move on to the next one.”

— From Start Your Week with Steve free weekly e-mail newsletter

Conquering frustration is a liberating feeling. Ocean Breeze — available as a signed, limited edition print, framed and unframed. Our goal is to get art into real people’s homes.

One of the most satisfying things I do is teaching another person how to knit. And every time I do so, I conclude the lesson with this encouragement:

“You’ve just learned. While knitting is fairly simple, consisting of basically two stitches — a knit stitch and a purl stitch — until you practice, and do it over and over and over, you will not get good.

“And in the process of practicing, and learning how to be good, you will find that you forget some things, or that your knitting looks uneven, or that you drop stitches and you don’t know how to get back. And you will get frustrated.

“Not only is this normal, but this is good, and if you’re not getting frustrated, then you’re probably not pushing yourself beyond your existing skill.

“You are not stupid. You are not unusual. You are not weird. You are normal.

“You are above normal when you accept the challenge, fight it, and win.

“Now — go and knit.”

This same advice applies in anything you do, including and especially including artwork such as painting or sculpture. You won’t get better if you don’t do it a lot; and if you do it a lot, you can expect to get frustrated.

So, go get frustrated.

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