here is a mural i fingerpainted on my bedroom wall growing up. i’m so grateful that my parents supported my creativity and allowed me to paint all over their home. this piece really means a lot to me because i painted it over the course of several years. it doesn’t have a lot of intrinsic meaning, really, but each fragment of the piece came from some song lyric i enjoyed or a memory i enjoyed musing over. then my friends started adding to it with notes and drawings, and i never even had the opportunity to feel alone or unloved when i had my friends’ colorful stuff on my wall and my parents down the hall. it really means a lot to have a family who supports the arts. thanks, mom and dad.
i got an aa in fine arts a few years ago before i went on to get a bba in marketing. it’s only been recently that i have realized how much i didn’t appreciate that time fully. i was always annoyed with being forced to create, and it would frustrate me into making pieces that weren’t truly my best.
i don’t know if age would have helped me at all. however, now having a full-time day job that doesn’t offer me a lot of room to be creative throughout the day has put a big strain on my ability to be creative. i’m struggling more to find inspiration now that i must maintain focus on mundane work tasks, bills and chores than when i was forced to look for a muse at every turn in art school.
that’s the interesting thing about having art as a hobby. if art is in your soul, if it at the root of your passions–it’s hard not to admire the daily aesthetics. but seeing life in that beautiful and unique way for many years over time allows you to push away the urge to interpret that visual beauty into a work of art. i could push my art away for months or even indefinitely and still survive. but in doing so, my life has lost so much joy and i have fallen into that inevitable rut that keeps me from being myself–an artist, a creator.
i’m telling you all of this because i don’t think it’s so remarkable. most of us, as artists, are not fortunate enough to support ourselves on art alone (kudos to you that are that fortunate. ps: i hate you). we will always juggle the necessity of the day job to pay our bills and that yearning desire to create something from our wild, vibrant imaginations.
i’m also telling you this because it’s where i am right now. i started seriously painting–i define “seriously painting” as something beyond a sticky note sketch, something i would take care not to crumple up in the mess of my life–about a year ago. i’m like a baby artist. i still know all my techniques. my hand knows how to interpret with ink, lead and paint what i am intending on the page. but my brain and my hand seem to be at war. the once flawless duo has stopped doing what it used to do.
and that’s just where i am. i swallow my pride and my insecurity, and i just start making things. and i share them with people even if i’m afraid. i keep my art supplies out even though it makes my open studio apartment look like a total mess. but i don’t care. i don’t have the luxury of focusing all my time and energy on my creations. i don’t have the convenience i once used to in school of creating by deadline.
even if my brain and hand don’t get along like they used to, i think that now, with the passing of time and the inspiration of things i have seen and experienced, i am a better artist. an artist more aware of her flaws. more humble and willing to laugh my way through a piece. more hopeful that someone will relate to a creation of mine. and most of all, more “me.”