Day 8: “Cracked” Learning to Love Ugly Art

Hello Friends,

I am not going to lie.  Today was a hard art day.  Today was full of day of eating my favorite flavor of “Shit Sandwich”  In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic she talks about how in every creative persons life there are going to be  more days than not, when creating is just hard.  When it sucks.  When you pour your heart and soul into something and it just never comes together.  This was one of those days.  The question is; for me anyway is how do I handle these days when I make “bad art” or “ugly art” or art that has so many flaws…

I did not handle it gracefully.  I had a complete meltdown.  I actually threw away the first piece and sat at my art table and cried like a 3 year old.   When I am having days like this I go to my mentor and friend Petra.  She makes imperfect girls, and they are lovely.  She is amazing at remembering the joy is in the process not the outcome.  She told me that she had a feeling a day like this was coming.  My response was that I did not know that!   I knew there where going to be hard days.  I knew there where days I would struggle to find the girl in the painting…but I never thought I would not find her…I had this idea in my head that if I  truly give her my everything she would come together and be beautiful.

She encouraged me to give into the “ugly”  So once I pulled my self together and had a break I went back to her and gave into the ugly.  I did not worry about what was technically correct or making her look realistic.  I just followed my intuition and played with the colors.

Learning to create with Joy when things don’t go my way and learning how to give into the “ugly” are so much easier said then done.  But the truth is, I will eat this shit sandwich every day until I get to the other side; because not creating in fear of making something bad  is so much worse then making “bad” art.

Here she is completed.  I gave her all I had and that is enough.


I am not asking for feedback today.  But please tell me in the comments below how you handle your “bad days


10 thoughts on “Day 8: “Cracked” Learning to Love Ugly Art

  1. Miss Petra's Art says:

    My sweet dear friend!
    I am so proud of you that you kept on going after our talk. It is so impirtant to enjoy thw proces and not worrie about any outcome! Fear is really a bad thing in Art.
    Please enjoy every moment making art, embrace your own journey, be the unique YOU, and don’t let any body tell you that you aren’t an Artist! ❤️ You


  2. Penny Maxwell says:

    Leanne, I had a bad art day too. I tried one of Juna B’s videos and she makes it look so easy. So I followed along and gave it my best. Well, it pretty much just looked like a big blob with ugly eyes staring out at me. I felt really let down so I just walked away for awhile and thought about it.
    I just reminded myself that it’s gonna take many tries to get it right and lots of patience. And for me, lots of instruction cause I really don’t know what im doing. Hang in there and remember we’re all in this together!


  3. Carol Thunderdance says:

    Oh god! Every time I sit down to do any kind of art, I freeze. Occasionally, I find a moment when I’m happy but so far, never about the process. It is always in the outcome. I haven’t learned to be happy and free in a lot of things. I am working on it. When I break down those barriers,,, look out! :). PS I just ordered Big Magic, can’t wait to read it!!!


  4. Becky says:

    Leanne, I handle my bad days by getting back at it…knowing it was just that, a ‘bad day’. I might take a break for a day, but I always get back to it because….well, I just have to.
    I know you’re not asking for feedback, but I have some I want to share. I love the idea of playing with the ‘ugly’. That’s really just accepting whatever happens to be there in the moment and embracing it. And look what you ended up with!!! It’s beautiful! Again, you inspire me.


  5. Suzy says:

    Getting some late comments in. I seem to have more bad days than good these days. It’s complicated. And, sometimes the only thing I can do is stop, and pray. Simplistic, I know. Oh, and eat chocolate. Also, another thought I had reading this days blog. Having been a preschool teacher for over 20 years, I think about the joy I’ve seen many times in children’s faces as they go through the process more than the finished product. Remember, you are wonderful.


    • leanneschuetzart says:

      Remembering to stop and pray is not simplistic, it is wise. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me. Yes I love watching children create because they have no inner critic….something I think we could all be more like.


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