Stranger Danger

How do you guys do it?

This blogging thing I mean. 

How do you find a different topic to talk about every week? 

One that you haven’t already discussed? 

How do you not get bored?

I enjoy talking about art and sharing the bare minimum I deem as helpful information, but there’s only so much I can go over without sounding like a friggin’ parrot.

I’m wondering if there’s any point. It’s strange for me to explain. Just trying to think realistically. 

Maybe that’s part of the problem. I look back at things I’ve drawn and I think “okay, that is good, but it means absolutely nothing to anyone or anything”. Perhaps I need to stop asking why and be okay with tuning out. I just keep going back and forth on that.

Imagine feeling trapped in an unsatisfying existence. 

Wasting your precious time doing things that you really don’t want to be doing. 

Maybe you don’t have to imagine it; maybe our lives are in the same current state.

If you want to live an extraordinary life, it is imperative that you know who you truly are. I’m not talking about the “self” that others demand you to be, or the self that acts a certain way to fit in and conform to what society accepts. I’m talking about the true you—you who wants to authentically express your unique qualities to the world.

Art isn’t my life but I can’t find anything else that has given me the boundless psychic bliss of making art for tens of hours at a stretch doing it every day and always thinking about it, looking for a voice to fit my own time, imagining scenarios of success and failure, feeling my imagined world and the external one merging in things that I was actually making. Into the abyss of self-doubt. Erupted with fear, self-loathing, dark thoughts about how bad my work was, how pointless, unoriginal, ridiculous. “You don’t know how to draw,” I told myself. “You never went to school. Your work has nothing to do with anything. You’re not an actual artist. Your art is irrelevant. You don’t know art history. You can’t paint. You only draw and work small because you’re too afraid to paint and work big.” Every artist does battle, every day, with doubts like these. 

I am losing the battle. 

When you tell someone you are an artist they go, “oh, how lucky you are, I wish I could do that”. What? You wish to spend all of your time creating? It is much more stressful and hard, and requires a lot of patience and dedication. No, they just see it idealistically. But as stressful as it can be, it’s the only thing that makes me feel good about myself and where I think I’m good at. Let’s explain that better. I’m EXTREMELY insecure with what I do. I feel nothing is good enough, but with art, I have learned that I’m good at this. Well, I don’t really believe it, but I try to believe and sometimes I think I am good. In my experience (and from what I’ve heard of others), art isn’t really something that becomes your entire life, so much as something in your mind that you can’t shut off. 

Every experience, memory, and belief a person has can influence their work. I’ve spent most of my days in my room either drawing or drawing. Everyone would tell me to get out and join “the rest of the world,” interact with people, get some air, etc. Lately I’ve been thinking “There’s more to life than art.” and I’m absolutely right. 

In 3 days it would be 4 weeks since I’ve done anything digitally, and I’ve got about 4 unfinished sketches. With the thought of drawing not consuming me, I’ve learned how to play the beginner versions of A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, Married Life from Disney’s UP, My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion and Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter. It seems I am swapping art for another, music 🙂

Moving on!

I guess I should leave you with some encouraging words.

ART 101

AKA STUFF I’VE PROBABLY ALREADY SAID.

You should always maintain a personal voice and technique that’s different — that sets you apart. Don’t make art that looks like somebody else’s — try to make art that’s better than theirs. Never make compromises in your aesthetic for some other asshole’s ideas. It’s your brain. 

Draw the things you hate drawing. Hate cars? Draw the shit out of them. Painting messy sheets sound like a nightmare? Do that shit. Eventually, you want everything to be natural and second nature. 

If somebody says something is bad, find everything they think is bad about it and more. Art is serious business, a lifelong devotion and a unique way of looking at the world. You can’t half-ass it and expect to be good.

People these days are obsessed with finding balance. It’s that standard by which we judge whether someone has complete control of their lives, perfectly dividing their time and attention between the personal stuff, the business stuff, hobbies, taking a nap, and working out every morning. Society favors anyone who’s achieved that enviable position of juggling everything at once in their life without breaking a sweat. 

Balance is an illusion.

If you’re passionate about something, I guarantee you it’s all-consuming. In your thoughts, in your heart, in your gut. It just means you have to discover your own definition of what balance means to you. Ask yourself: “Does my current situation bring me joy? Am I spending enough time with my family and friends? Do I feel like this gives me purpose?”

You don’t want to have to “schedule” your art, but the reality of the situation is this: you only have 24 hours in a day. Plans are going to change, things are going to come up, your attention will be divided.  Avoid the rut of disappointment. It can quickly derail you. You will not be perfect every day and spend as much time as you want to on your art.

It’s not the end of the world. 

Here’s some artsy stuff *yawn*