Trusting Your Talent

My body and mind are still recovering this morning from my walk into a fantasy world this weekend filled with dragons and fairy houses as I get ready for my featured artist spot in July and August. Newspapers littered the floor as I set out my sculpting tools and trimmed my nails so that I didn’t leave indents in my pieces. I picked up my sewing needles and stared at the lumps of clay trying to will a shape. The clay didn’t transform itself. My mind was still waking up.

My brain always tries to resist the start of early morning exercise so I ended up scrolling through Pinterest for inspiration. Searching the internet is inspiring and disappointing at the same time because you find so many ideas but you also find people more talented than yourself. I mixed and matched the looks of other artists in my mind and then I asked myself the same question I always ask before I begin writing, “What is my style? What is my story?”

Just like any writer or artist, I wanted my pieces to stand out from other people even if they’re in the same genre. I stared and mixed my polymer clay for an hour and then sucked in a deep breath. I knew I was stalling. I just had to dive into the piece and trust my imagination and talent. I thought, “just write, just create.” Yes, this is a different medium but the process to get to the finish is the same. Sometimes you just need to begin and not care about mistakes or if the final product doesn’t turn out the way you expected.

I have to admit that some of my “mistakes” in my art pieces turned out to be the best thing that happened. Experiments left something unexpected, and new textures and techniques developed. I felt like an impressionist going with the flow of the light in the room. My world turned miniature as I shrank down my big thoughts into tiny pieces that only reached 3 inches high, and a dragon started to form. I pictured a little steampunk with a little more color. The dragons in my mind were of glittering blues, purples, and shimmery coppers. A few sparkles, gears, and sparkles completed the 8 hours of work.

The race against the clock this weekend wore out my body. I was determined to mold, sculpt, and glaze these new creatures before the work week started. Being in the zone has benefits and problems. My mind was so focused that some unhealthy habits returned. I forgot to eat and got annoyed when I had to go to the bathroom. I fell into the mode of letting my body suffer for the sake of my art. I can’t even count the number of times I stayed up all night and then went to work on little sleep to write or finish a piece of art.

Opportunities don’t always come at convenient times. Knowing how life goes, I expect them to all happen at once and now I do my best to keep all the plates spinning in my one woman circus. I accept that sometimes, I’ve work in my own “sweat shop” because I put in more hours than I get paid. To me, learning new skills and techniques is worth it’s weight in gold. If you don’t create, then you’ll never grow as an artist or writer.

Never mind my zombie mode this morning because my goal of creating 3 new pieces for my show is complete. Trust yourself and get started. Trust the skills you have because they’ll carry you to the next step. Telling myself this and believing my own words surprised me this time. I had no idea these dragons were inside me, but building on what I’ve learning over the years worked. I laugh when I think of my first manuscript, or my first attempt at slay sculpture. I was so proud back then but my future self is a little horrified by what I thought was good. Good thing I kept going, I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

My posts are Monday through Friday. You can find a copy of my new Writer’s Journal at

~Yoon Ju

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Published by yoonjuwrites

I’m an author in Minnesota who started out writing and illustrating Children’s books. I’ve published poetry and adult Romance Novels. I created my website and social media to reach out to other writers because the process can be lonely. I wanted to reach out to readers, writers, and those with a dream of finishing “that” novel. I share the advice of other writers and the tools I use to create my stories.

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