Finding something that fits perfectly the first try is the most amazing feeling.
For example, some of my favorite pairs of shoes are the ones that fit right on the first try. Or like if a piece of furniture fits along a wall so that it doesn't block an outlet. Or when you parallel park correctly on the first go without having to adjust your car thirty times while several random strangers silently judge your mediocre parking abilities. Now those are some amazing feelings!
But it can also be incredibly gratifying to watch yourself improve at something.
I've always been inspired by my grandmother's artwork. Whenever she paints a picture, I think it ends up looking like an absolute dream. And ever since I've wanted to be able to create my own little dreams.
She tends to work in the medium of watercolor. When I first thought to myself "I want to do that" with my little Crayola set of paints I almost had a meltdown. Watercolors were a very frustrating medium to work with because of the patience and forethought required while using them. It's necessary to work in a series of layers in order to provide a sense of depth and a variety and richness of color. Watercolors also aren't always beginner friendly because they tend to bleed all over the place even once you've thought a layer has dried. You end up getting annoying tendrils of Midnight Blue in your light wash of Cadmium Yellow. The WORST.
So you could see how this could spell a recipe for disaster for a younger Vanessa because back in high school when I was confronted with things I wasn't immediately good at I would quit. I forwent participating in track, tennis, and badminton (a lot of sports you get the picture); I stopped practicing the piano, and I most definitely didn't let others read my writing because I thought I wasn't capable of producing top tier, high caliber work.
This obviously made picking up a hobby rather difficult. However, when I found something in using watercolors that actually made me want to keep going (even though I was awful at using them) I decided to run with it. And now I'm so glad that I did.
And because I kept up with painting instead of dropping it like a hot potato, I'm able to keep creating pictures like the one that accompanies this article which I painted from a photo I took of a building in Berlin across the river that runs along the East Side Gallery.
Although it's not something that I do professionally and I'll probably always say I still have a long way to go in terms of improvement, the fact that I was even able to start is a small miracle in itself.