So, I wasn't able to get done the last couple of weeks what I wanted to get done.
I was asked to make some decorations for the Homecoming Dance this weekend, and every free moment of my life the past two weeks has been consumed by that. But, it has kind of been a good thing, even though I am tired of looking at paper logs and leaves.
Having a firm deadline and an enormous task to complete has made me realize just how much I miss getting to do my own work. All through art school, I worked furiously to meet deadlines. Hell, the day before my thesis show, I still had roughly 100 portraits to finish and mount. Even though it was incredibly stressful, it was extremely gratifying and made me feel like I was accomplishing something with my life.
I miss it. I have been so stressed lately, but this one thing has kept me going. I've found myself thinking lately about what it would take to quit my job and just work on my art full time, even if I can't make a living by doing it. It is so very tempting.
I think to help me out a little bit, I am going to force myself to work, even if just for an hour to get things done. I think it will help ease some of my stress and help me not feel like an utter failure.
I decided that I needed a fresh start.
If you've been following along, you may have noticed that I deleted all of my previous blog entries. Why? Well, I spent a lot of time over the summer thinking about life in general. I haven't done much of any thing in the way of new work since I left grad school, mostly because I haven't had the motivation to get things done. It's not that I've been lacking ideas. They've been there: a lot of them, but my will to create has been intermittent. And when it has been there, it has been crippled by fear.
Fear? Yes, that overwhelming sense that I am not good enough and will never be good enough. The sense that all of my ideas are garbage. The feeling that what people want to see is not what I have to offer them. The idea that handwork gets you no where in the end, you just have to be really lucky. I left grad school with a bang, or so I thought. And despite all the sketching and planning and sampling, in the back of mind I have been thinking that there is no point in going on. I can never do better.
And most recently, adding to that pile of insecurities is one little thing that my boyfriend mentioned to me quite a long time ago: that what I do reminds me too much of his mom (who quilts) and that isn't the most attractive thing in the world. Imagine, trying to find the will to go on when so much is expected of you, only to be told that the one thing you love to do more than anything else in this world is a real turnoff.
So I have struggled. And I have cried. And I have been mad at the world and the way it works. But mostly I've been disappointed in myself. Disappointed in my lack of motivation. Disappointed that I let fear overwhelm me. Disappointed that I have disappointed others.
So I had a frank talk with the aforementioned boyfriend about all of these things and he actually gave me good advice. First, that I'm awesome (which apparently I don't realize). Second, that he loves me no matter what and that regardless of whether both his mom and I like to sew, we are two different people and he's not going to stop me from doing what I love. And last, that artists don't just work until they create something great and then stop. They keep on creating. Some things may be pure garbage. Some things may also be great. And some things may be better than great, but they never stop.
And that's what I need to do. I can't keep defining myself by what I did in the past, I need to move forward and keep making. So I decided to take a deep breath, and start fresh, jot down all of my ideas and just start making. Some may be garbage. Some may be great. And some may be better than great, but in the end it is about the act of doing itself, not the product.
This new blog is a part of my fresh start. I am burying the past and starting a new future and I plan to document it here.