Stop Getting into my Own Head and Just Create!

Sometimes, and maybe most times, me being a creative perfectionist is an oxymoron. The creative side is meant to explore, try new things, have fun… a stress reliever while the perfectionist side in my head says, “make everything without mistakes” and “the final card should look exactly the way I envisioned the design”.

So, I often get in my own way. I may sketch out a little design idea, but then when I go to make it and it doesn’t look like what I thought, I think I’ve failed. I then, try every technique I know to make it look like what I had in mind but it gets worse. I make more mistakes trying to go against the grain and many cards ended up in the trash and I go to bed frustrated.

Truth is creating doesn’t always come out the way I think. There’s such a thing as happy accidents and great art is made.

Frustrated trying to come up with new ideas
Creating shouldn’t be frustrating

I realize this post is a little different from my usual cards, but today I wanted to open what’s on my heart as I was inspired by Mary Polanco’s YT video here. She mentioned some of the same issues that I struggle with and we both agreed (through comments) to try to enjoy the process of creating and use supplies we may not ordinarily reach for to make cards (like planner books, stickers, etc.)

That video really spoke to me to share my own failings:

  • I compare my artwork with too many other cardmakers and think I’m not that good
  • I try too hard to master techniques rather than enjoy learning them
  • I get way too frustrated and give up too quickly
  • I keep thinking I need to buy the latest, greatest stamp sets, inks, coordinating dies and tools like the expert cardmakers in order to make great cards
  • If sales are down in the Shop, I think my cards must not be good enough to sell
  • I think that using pattern papers or Dollar General stickers aren’t considered handmade and artsy by other cardmakers
  • I should be a better artist by now and my cards don’t show it

With all that said, I decided to really work at going with the flow…that is to create just to create. Don’t be afraid to use whatever supplies I have, don’t break the bank purchasing new items. Also, I work a full-time day job so some nights I may use my stamps, watercolors, dies, stencils and do ink blending, etc., but other nights when I’m really too tired to spend hours making cards I can use stickers on pattern paper with a few jewels or Nuvo Drops and call it done!

The moral of the story is… I guess if there’s one… is stop letting my fears prevent me from creating something pretty and putting it in the Shop to sale and sharing online. Don’t let what others create compete in my head about where I should be as a crafter. Enjoy and be inspired by others, learn new techniques, add my own touches, stop pressuring myself and let whatever time I need to improve happen spontaneously. Mary said it best in her video that we’re making cards to brighten someone’s day. So true!

This is my challenge now. And, I’m ready.

Stop getting into my own head and just create!


  1. Mary Polanco says:

    This was so inspiring, Kim! WOW! Thank you for sharing all of this for those of us who have the same struggles and I would venture to say it’s quite a few of us. Showing your vulnerability and honesty is what helps others relate and push past their own hang ups. You’re amazing! Hugs!

    1. Kim McDougal says:

      Mary, thank you so much! I’m so glad you got started with your video to help me realize my issues and really try hard to push past them. I agree that probably a lot of us struggle and hopefully we can encourage others to just enjoy creating and sharing that gift with others. Hugs right back at ya!

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