Patience | practising delayed gratification

I’ve been sketching for a month now and I can already see an improvement as a result of my creative effort. I chose my latest subject while I was out on a walk with my family. I spotted this pelican poised on a rock in the Roy Amer Reserve Wetlands and something about it appealed to me. It exuded calmness and patience, and it reminded me of fishing trips with my late grandmother where we’d sit quietly and stare out into the ocean patiently waiting for the fish to bite.

Patience by Jennifer Trijo

Lola Paz was a patient woman who’d sit by the sea and sing ‘Que Sera’ to the fish until she’d feel them tug on her fishing line, then she’d leap with joy as she pulled in her catch for the day. In a similar way, this pelican watched the lake, patiently waiting.

It can be challenging to delay gratification. When one adopts a goal for themselves the excitement of somehow accomplishing it can be a strong motivator. As the anticipation towards something builds, one finds themselves tempted to hasten the process, to take shortcuts in order to feel satisfied.

The process is as significant, if not more so, than the desired outcome. Within the process lies discovery. As I drew this sketch of a pelican in bed late at night, I chose not to use an eraser. Instead, I’ve embraced every imperfect line and incorporated it into the outcome. I had no idea how it would turn out, I’ve just enjoyed the feeling of creating it.

I’ve enjoyed this month of mindful creativity and the fruits of my labour are beginning to transfer over into the realm of music composition. I began a new composition today and I can’t wait to share it. The melody had been floating around in my head for days and I finally took the time to notate it. I’m enjoying the compositional process even more after exploring the domain of visual art. Like my sketches, I’m noticing every lyric and every note with renewed appreciation and patience.

You can see the first sketch I’ve posted here. For those who haven’t been following my blog, I’ve started sketching a month ago as a psychological experiment on myself. It was an attempt to overcome creative blocks and the negative self-talk I sometimes experience in the process of creating new music.

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