Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Struggles of an Artist Part 1

It is my experience as an artist that there are times when you lie to yourself or listen to other people, and generally the wrong ones, and as a result your creativity suffers as does the fun of making art; it all just slowly drains away until you're an empty shell.

I succumbed to that feeling and lived with it for several years.  I was so far in the pit that I didn't even want people to know that I was an artist because with that always came expectations I couldn't handle.  There also came with that knowledge the comments of, "You're so good!" "You're so talented!" "Wow, I wish I could do that!" Empty comments by people that really have no idea and you can tell by how they say it and act, they don't really care.  Comments that eat at you and make you wonder, "If I'm such a good artist then why don't they want any of  my art?" At times I made attempts to climb out of the pit and I prayed about it but I always slid back down the steep slope, sometimes a bit better off than I was previously but never able to fully climb out. This has been my journey over the last nine or ten years.

I mark the beginning of my descent back when I was still attending university.    My first year was great, I was totally into it and had a lot of fun but it wasn't too long after that I started feeling the burn out.  I believe that was mostly from boredom. I had, had my fill of drawing still life in high school and thus had very little interest in doing the same for my drawing classes.  Then there was the whole having to draw their way for several classes.  I couldn't embellish or add something imaginative.  I felt stifled and thus really fell in love with oil painting and then later clay because I was actually allowed to be creative. Sadly it was too much out put each semester and once I graduated I couldn't let go of all the negativity that had dug it's claws into my thoughts of art.

I spent several years doing very little drawing.  I would take stabs at it and do some for a time but the joy was gone and I just didn't care enough to figure out how to get it back.  My husband tried to help.  He even sent me Mark Crilley's YouTube channel to try and help me.  It did for a time but for reasons I don't remember I let it slip on by.  Although, each time I would try to get back into drawing I normally would hit up Mark Crilley's channel to listen to as I would try and draw my own things.  It mostly ended in frustration because all I could think about was how much I missed oil painting and playing with clay.  Oil painting at home wasn't much of an option because of the smell of the linseed oil and mineral spirits (odorless my butt) and I lacked the ability to fire clay.

Too much time was also spent brooding over the teacher of the senior capstone class laughing at me when I said that I wanted to do art as my job.  I was seriously offended by her reaction (she's one of two at the university I didn't get along with well).

All in all I had set myself up for failure and allowed these things control me.

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