Do You Do "The Humble Stumble"?

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

What is the Humble Stumble you ask? It’s a dance, a colorers 2-step! I used to do this dance all the time. If I were a betting girl, I would bet you’ve done it without even knowing it. Funny thing, this dance comes natural to most of us, requires no special dance shoes.


Humble Stumble

Dance Steps

(very easy to follow along):

  1. take a coloring class or complete a coloring tutorial,

  2. successfully complete the class/tutorial project,

  3. share the excitement of what you’ve accomplished with others,

  4. believe you have color invincibility,

  5. start to color your next project and it’s not working (stumble)

  6. question why you can’t color everything/anything (humble)

  7. repeat steps 1 - 6

I would like to think that I have outgrown this dance, but I’m afraid that it will always be in my bones. Overtime, my colored pencils and Copic markers have learned to make beautiful music. When they start to play I start to sway. Before I know it the music gets louder and I am coloring mindlessly. Then it happens, I stumble, which makes me humble. There I go, I’m dancing again!

When I started my coloring expedition I had no idea that I was opening a door to a whole new creative world. I thought I would take a coloring class or two after which I would know all there could possibly be to know about coloring. Oh boy, was I wrong. I will not live long enough to know everything about this art form. So is it any wonder that I still do this dance as I am continually learning and growing in my artistic endeavor?

I know that if I really wanted to stop doing this dance all I would have to do is take coloring class after coloring class. You see, I believe I can color just about anything if I have an instructor giving me step-by-step instruction. My stumbles come when I veer off on my own and try to do something without an instructor. I can admit that it is really frustrating to not just be able to whip out a coloring masterpiece. But the flip side is how rewarding it is when I actually figure out how to do something without instruction. That’s an incredible feeling. It’s also a great way to really “learn” how to do something, by pushing through what isn’t working until it does. It might require research, swatching, coloring something over and over until it finally happens. When it does, you now own the skill that was eluding you.

I have to thank Frankie for encouraging me to partner with her to make the Practice Corner community a place that crafters and artists can come together to dig deeper into coloring techniques on their way to becoming independent colorers. It’s amazing how my own coloring process has changed over the past five months. Creating the monthly technical drill sheets and coloring the practice and challenge images for the Corner are key components to my continued coloring growth right now, which includes a frequent trip to the dance floor to do The Humble Stumble.

So the next time you are frustrated and find yourself doing The Humble Stumble, embrace it!

Celebrate knowing that if you work though this dance (struggle) you are on the verge of an artistic breakthrough!

And don’t think you have to do this dance alone. When you are struggling with your coloring, post in the Corner forum. Sometimes, just the act of explaining what the problem is to someone else leads you to a solution.

The Humble Stumble

. . . the dance that leads to improving your art.

Time for me to get back to my practice. I’m still very busy creating realistic hair and fur. It's not too late to join in!

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