Saturday, March 23, 2013

Art

To me, art has always been beauty. It's been something I just have to do. It's never been a hobby or a career choice. If I didn't make art I wouldn't be me. All my life I've kind of been struggling though. Always trying to find a balance between what I really want to do and what I should do in order to improve my skills and get a job. I mean, really, an artist? Pfft, is that even a real job? I'd say no, it's not. It's a way of being and I know that might sound pretentious but for me it's true. When I spent all those years in school trying to improve as an artist. Doing millions of sketches just to learn anatomy I felt as if I was being drained. It didn't feel right and I didn't improve. I actually took steps backwards and after a while I couldn't draw at all. It was a process that felt so painful and filled with stress and performance anxiety that I was afraid to even pick up a pencil.

I developed social anxiety disorder and I lived in a deep depression for about 8-10 years. Sure, I made some images but they didn't feel like me. I didn't have fun while I made them. I didn't enjoy the process because I was just looking at the end product. It makes me sad to think about it because I see now what I did wrong. I started to create art in order to please others instead of myself. I don't know if I actually managed to please others either. Sure some of the pics looked good and people told me I was good at what I did but that was all that it was. It also hurts to see so many friends of mine struggle with the same methods of "grinding" their art skills as if lifting weights at a gym. Drawing is not a work out session. It's supposed to be something you do because you really want to do it. Not to improve, not to get a job. Just draw. For you.

I've managed to break through that mental barrier of performance anxiety. I simply stopped looking ahead, aiming for some kind of goal. My art is not the means to any end. Each painting is important to me, both during the process and after I have shown it to people. To see and hear their reactions. I haven't really thought much about this until now but I've noticed a change in peoples reactions and it made me think about the difference between my older works and the ones I make today. The art I make today is honest, open, vulnerable and revealing. I now find myself unable to paint unless I have true emotions to convey, at least while painting for me. Work is another thing entirely  I don't paint in order to have a job. I have a job in order to paint.

I've been sharing a lot lately and not just the usual rambles about nothing special. I know I'm sort of taking a big risk in being so open and honest for all the world to see, but I've thought about that a lot. People get to see straight into my life as if standing outside of my window but I'm ok with that. I've put up colourful curtains and even though I'm not hiding behind them I know that the world can't see all of me. They'll see the colours and the shapes I make. They'll see the art I make and start to think. At the top of this post I have taken screenshots of comments I've received on some of my latest pieces and I find myself going back to read them over and over. I really can't describe the feeling of hearing someone tell me that my art makes them realize things about themselves that they didn't know before. They share their stories and emotions with me because I share mine with them.

Internet is a place full of shallow interactions and arguments. Anger, annoyance and funny jokes. To find true honesty is kind of rare and I guess that's because of the risk involved. But people can't really hurt me because of what I share. It's the other way around. The things I share leave my mind for a moment and when they are out there for everyone to see I feel no shame. Everyone will have opinions wether they are positive, negative or indifferent. I'm not sharing to see peoples reactions though (even if they are very welcome) I'm sharing to change my opinion about myself. It's just a thing of mine I guess. Unless I get my thoughts and emotions out of my head they will linger there and grow in the most disgusting ways. If I write or paint them and show them it doesn't matter who sees them. I can let go of them and move on. That's how I see my own art.

1 comment: