Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Aftermath

I had a definite "what's the point" moment this week. I have these fairly regularly... a couple times a year at least. I get that overwhelming desire to just give up. Give away all my art supplies, convert my studio to a guest room and be done with it. Don't know if I'm alone in this, but I suspect not... working at a creative endeavor, trying to keep going and growing when sales are few and far between, and there is so much other stuff that needs to be done... well, it's not easy to stay motivated. It hit me this week as I was sorting through a portfolio full of sodden, ruined artwork, trying to see what, if anything, could be salvaged. The answer? Not much. I manage to save a couple oil pastel pieces, and about 15 watercolours from a summer spent in Europe some 25 years ago (tossing the rest of those out hurt... they may not have been particularly good, but they held sentimental value for me. But the thing about watercolour... well, it isn't waterproof). The rest of it filled up a couple garbage bags (and recycle bags, depending on what it was), and headed for the landfill.

I know that if I take a break now I will get stuck. Been there, done that. And then I will wallow in my stuck-ness. Obviously, not a very good option. But I'm so tired... the last 6 months have been incredibly stressful for me. Recap: a solo show with only 2 months advance warning, a move from the house I've lived in for 17 years, and then the flash flood and sewer backup into my basement while my husband and son were away on vacation. And all this time working a 40+ hour/week job with increasing pressure to do more/ be better/ work faster. Not even mentioning the daily cooking/ cleaning/ never ending mountain of laundry. It's exhausting. And depressing.

So, what's my plan? Well, I'm open to suggestions. This week I didn't do much, creatively speaking. I think I have to take some of the pressure off myself to produce. Maybe take a couple weeks and just play. Get back to the joyful part of creating. Try something new... maybe pick up a new medium or do a bunch of small pieces in experimental mode, or maybe try a completely new art form, like writing. Might not accomplish anything worth sharing, but if I can get myself to a place where I can't wait to get back into my studio, it will have served it's purpose, right?

Seriously... I'm open to suggestions. Any comments are appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. First, I think you are being way too hard on yourself. You have been incredibly productive for how long? A year or more? Add to that the stress of your job and moving, and the show (which is its own creature), and you have a recipe for lethargy.

    Be kind to yourself. Allow playtime without the pressure to create a masterpiece. Get outside and ride your bike. Doodle. Try a different medium (want some fibre?). Cut up a magazine and make a silly collage. Do some crazy "creativity" exercise (I know a book or two with them).

    I'd suggest coming to visit me, but then I'd be in trouble with your husband.....