I felt very aware this week that my best was not the same as other people's best when it comes to straight lines. I have always had very shaky hands and it gets worse when chilly, excited, nervous... all of which I was feeling as I got started on my first ever wall mural in the large gymnastics warehouse that is Steel City Sports.
One of the reasons I've developed my style of watercolour is to forgive my shaky hands and enjoy the colour. But I love the crisp, geometric art that other people produce, and in my head the mural would look like that. Error! 😬
I will be finishing it tomorrow and the gym owners are all really happy with how it's looking so we're winning but it did give me a real taste of how people feel when I tell them that 'your best is good enough, you are good enough, jump in and try' because that's actually REALLY FLIPPING HARD AT TIMES.
Here are 3 things I got wrong with my first mural and why I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.
Firstly, I could have had the perfect colours in pre-mixed tubes instead of my massive donated bag of random aged colours... that would have saved me time and stress... but then I wouldn't be me. I saved the client money and used paint that would have got wasted. I'm really glad we've turned waste products into something lots of people will enjoy.
Secondly, I felt like I'd listen to lots of music so I wasted bag space on my speakers when in fact it turned out I really enjoyed the silence. Very unexpected! I'd probably make this mistake all over again in fact because I was so surprised I didnt want music.
Thirdly, I struggled with my straight edges and hands were shaking so much at times I was getting quite frustrated with my own body. NO NEED. The gym owners are lovely, they know me and my art style, and my whole ethos is about letting yourself enjoy art and ANTIPERFECTION. Why is it so hard to give yourself a bit of grace when you preach it all the time to others?! SO anyway, I'd give myself a break, and do it exactly the same way again next time.
Overall, my first experience painting a mural was brilliant. It was challenging, rewarding, and definitely a learning experience. I can't believe that Steel City Gym had so much faith in me that they let me paint all over their wall and I'm so happy that something I painted might make people smile and be kinder to themselves.
If you're thinking about tackling your own mural, I say go for it! Just remember to have fun, take your time, and don't worry about the wobbly lines.