How do we learn to trust the art process?

How I encourage my mixed media and collage art students to trust the creative process

The creative process is... “more unpredictable, complex, perverse, subtle, and intimately associated with the idiosyncratic landscapes of the personal imagination.
— Shaun McNiff (Trust the Process)

I focus my teaching on supporting beginning to advanced artists understand the importance of letting go of an outcome in their work. I know that this can lead to frustration but I have experienced first hand the incredible creative liberation that takes place when the creator collaborates with the process. In a way it is a leap of faith akin to traveling to a foreign land. You don’t know what you will encounter, but there is excitement in that serendipitous discovery.

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.
— R. Buckminster Fuller

Recently one of my newer students who had not done any mixed media work before, wanted to create something that looked like an art piece that she had seen in a book. I left her to try and create what she had in her mind suspecting that she may not be satisfied with the outcome. Why? She had not given way to her own process and that I believe comes with practice. Actually what happened next surprised her: She ripped it up and liked it better when she rearranged it HER way in HER process!

Kathy Leader