It’s been well over a month since I last wrote anything in this blog. And not for not wanting to, but there was not much to say. The journey to finding a route, a pathway sometimes hits obstacles, hazards or crossroads and going through them you sometimes don’t know what exactly it is you going through.
Art has always been that Path where I have looked for a destination and even though some people think I should be exhibiting my works I have yet to reach that destination, at least in my mind that’s the case.
Being self critical has its hazards, the biggest one being that you are never good enough.
It takes a certain type of person to look at their own work and say to themselves they are satisfied and are good enough. Admittedly, some of them really are and show off their work and get the prizes and column inches and the funds which keeps them going. But out there there are a whole lot more people who don’t have that character and will look at their work and still not be satisfied with it, no matter what.
It’s one of those hazards of being self critical. You know what you looking for, you know what you want, you know where you might be able to get to and if it isn’t that which you produce then you will not be satisfied. In many ways it becomes a backward step. When you addd too many backwards steps it becomes a stop sign.
Then there is that side of things in which you challenge yourself, you walk out of your comfort zone and you test new things, try new or varied things, some of which you don’t usually do. Some of which you might not have done yourself got many years. And of course inevitably they will not always work. So you keep on trying and trying to get it right and you start to forget your own comfort zone because you have changed things and it takes you time to return to a point where you were.
When you do return you realise you have brought in new perspectives, and new view so things are not the same so you starting a new era because it’s now different. And again, the self critical stage creeps in and it’s a backwards step.
You see when I decided to start writing this blog it was never for any other reason than to firstly bring my work and thoughts on art to a public I had shied away from doing so for many years. It was also to bring a reality to many others away from ‘this is the route to success” or the “do it this way and you will make it” that you so often see. There are many, many artists who sit at home with probably drawers or boxes full of drawings, paintings, really anything which nobody will ever see. Some of them will probably much better works that those who are out there making some decent money from their art. But these people won’t be because there are things which stop them from doing so.
And because they are not out there they will doubt themselves and doubt their abilities and it will feel as if they are the only ones in that position. Truth is, there are probably more artists whose works are hidden away in cobwebbed cupboards than there are exhibiting.
So what solution do I bring with my blog. After all blogs usually claim to bring a solution. Well in truth I bring none.
There is only one piece of advice I can offer, because that is the one lesson I have learnt, don’t stop.
Sometimes everything around you feels as if those other things are the priority and art can wait. Work, family, talking to the neighbour, watching the film on tv (yes watching the film on tv). They might all come in the way and you will say I can get back to drawing tomorrow. Don’t. You know you want to pick things up and you know that there is an empty filling as something remains undone if you haven’t done something so do it. Because that is the value to you of your art. It’s about doing it. It’s about you being you and being creative. It is your signature. And it is important, it is important to you. So keep on doing it.
This past month I’ve had a lot of trouble coming up with ideas. I stepped into a zone I ha dance bene comfortable with but don’t seem to be that comfortable with lately. Paint was something I loved, but this many years not heeding the advice I have just given meant I now longer feel in that comfort zone. But I kept trying. And this month for the first time I look at my table and for the first time it feels as if I have really brought back art into my life. For once in many many years it takes the same level of importance as other things, and it clearly does define me. So yes keep doing it, keep trying, doesn’t matter where you go with it, it’s your own journey and it’s better to follow your own journey than pretend to follow someone else’s.
These are mor elf my contributions to my drawer collection for the month of August…