When I show people my miniature creations I often hear, “You must have a lot of patience!" I have no more natural ability to be patient than anyone else. Patience is a learned skill and we are all capable of learning. I don‘t have any special capacity for patience, but I do practice it quite often. As most of us already know - you get good at what you practice.
I would like to share some of my own tips for cultivating patience while working on miniature craft projects. Three strategies that have been helpful to me in my crafting include letting go of expectations, being open to learning, and walking away. I hope that these suggestions will help to get you through the inevitable frustrating moments of crafting on a miniature scale.
1. My first tip for practicing patience is to let go of expectations that your project will turn out perfectly. There’s nothing wrong with having high standards, but it’s also important to remember that crafting is about learning and having fun. When I let go of my ideas about what my finished project should look like, I am able to enjoy the process of creating without the fear of imperfection hanging over my head. Art projects tend to have a life of their own. Trying to force creativity into a fixed and rigid end product not only takes away the fun of creating it also sets up the perfect storm for frustration, disappointment and impatience. So, my first tip is to just have fun with your Microcrafting, and not worry too much about what your project will look like in the end.
2. The second tip I have for practicing patience in creative endeavors is to remember that you are learning. No matter how many years I have been creating miniature projects I am still always open to learning. Every time I sit down to create something I know that I might learn something new in the process. Remaining open to learning helps keep my attitude enthusiastic. Patience comes most naturally to me when I am open to whatever might happen during the process of crafting. If I make a mistakes while in that open enthusiastic mode, I am able to view fixing them as opportunities to learn something new. Not only does being open to learning help you to experience patience, it also helps you to grow as an artist and crafter.
3. One last tip I would like to share is that sometimes it’s best to just walk away. When I feel myself becoming frustrated or impatient with my project often the best course of action is to take a deep breath and set my creation aside for a bit. I seem to make most of my mistakes when I work on projects while feeling impatient or frustrated. When I start feeling like I should chuck my project into the trash bin it is usually a good idea to take a deep breath and do something else for awhile. When I return to my project after taking such a break I find a renewed happiness for the work and a fresh perspective on whatever was tripping me up. A break can go a long way toward keeping you from giving in to impatience and throwing in the proverbial towel.
I hope that you all have a wonderful time creating your own versions of the projects from the Microcrafts book. I’m sure that practicing patience will help you get through any rough spots you might encounter and allow you to fully experience the joy of creating. Have fun Microcrafters!