By Megan Weber/Zaheroux
Columnist Crysta Coburn talked to artist Megan Weber, aka Zaheroux, for this issue's Crysta Goes Visiting Column (read here). At the time of their conversation, Zaheroux said she was drawn to animal and bone imagery, to “bring in the concept of life and death, the beauty of death” into her art.
One of the things I tend to be asked is “how can you do that?” Some people may want to respond with “I just can.” A better answer to this question might be “I just do.”
The word “do” has a wealth of meaning to it. My favorite meanings are to put forth, to accomplish. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I would probably be one of those artists who would start a biography by stating I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon. In truth, when I realized that art was my life’s passion as a teenager, I began to work very hard at it. One of my favorite teachers I’ve ever had once quoted (and credited to) coach Vince Lombardi, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
During that time, I probably scowled at the thought or laughed at it. Now that I am a bit older, I can understand what he means. Perfect practice isn’t the idea that you should create something without error. It’s the idea that, while the finished product may not be exactly what you had in mind, having the right skill set as you practice allows you to learn. In drawing, it could be how you properly view a still life and how it is drawn out. It’s practicing with intention regardless of the outcome.
From there, let’s look at another part of 'do.' Doing takes action; it takes moving beyond the initial idea, beyond the onset of worries or fears and just creating. But within that creation, you are always learning and expanding your circle of discipline. What is this? Imagine you are in the middle of a circle. Your knowledge, your comfort zone is represented in the space between you and the border. Now say you create something. Whether you succeed or fail, that circle will begin to grow. The idea is that you have learned and moved beyond your boundaries, thus expanding your knowledge.
Now, this all probably sounds confusing, huh? It may not be as bad as you think. What I have learned from my teacher’s lessons is that while you put intention behind your actions (perfect practice); you are also expanding your knowledge whether you consider your project a win or lose situation (circle of discipline). This expansion happens because you step beyond fear and do.
I have had friends and family sit back and fear or worry that they cannot accomplish whatever project they had in mind. The thing is you won’t know until you do something. If it is a failure, stop and go back to step one, but find out why it may have failed. Find out why it didn’t work out like originally planned and learn, expand. Above all, just do.
The next time someone comes up to you and asks, “Wow, how in the world did you do that?” Think back to all the hard work you have done to learn your skills, all the trial and errors to get where you are now. Simply smile and respond, “I just do.”
Megan Weber is a local Ann Arbor artist who goes by the name “Zaheroux.” Her work is done using traditional mediums such as ink and color pencil focusing on animals, life, and death. In the last few years she has created and self-published her own tarot and oracle decks which have been sold worldwide. Megan’s artwork has also been featured on the background set of CBS’s Two Broke Girls. Her artwork can be viewed at www.facebook.com/ArtbyZaheroux.