*I promise there's a point to this. Please read whole post.
Yup. I said it. Sometimes, I really hate my art. This is the weekend of a pretty big art event for me (Art-A-Whirl) and I confess. I hate my art. I am doubting myself. Sometimes I wonder what I am doing- I mean, can I really make a career out of being an artist? Am I delusional? Besides, no one needs original art... Target and Ikea prints suit most people just fine!
|Hanging my work for Art-A-Whirl this weekend|
I feel like it's written all over my face- that I am a fraudulent artist and everyone sees that my work isn't that good. Sometimes months go by and I don't sell anything, which makes me feel like I am failing. There must be something wrong- I'm failing with my work, my passion is steering me in the wrong direction, I am wasting my time and effort. It's dumb. I'm dumb for trying. Is this normal? Am I normal? Wait, don't answer that.
Some days I hate my art more than others, like the days I will fix my attention on a certain piece and obsess about how I hate it so much that I can't even look at it another minute. I completely whitewash it without a moment of hesitation. No one will ever know it's gone, except me. And then I paint something else on that same canvas, forcing myself to make something better than what is was before (it works every time). I feel better in some kind of way. If I don't like it, no one else would like it, so I get rid of it's evidence forever!
Another reason I begin to hate a piece of art is if someone asks me if I painted a big 'ol picture of myself. When enough people ask me this, I start to get a bit angry. I know people are trying to be a nice, and maybe it's a strange compliment, but I would never, ever, ever paint myself and then actually expect someone to buy it... I am not that narcissistic that I would have an entire body of work consisting of my own self. So, I am laying this question to rest before the weekend... No. I absolutely do not, never have and never will paint a picture of myself.
Tonight is my private opening event for a handful of special guests before the Art-A-Whirl weekend begins. I can't help but wonder though... why do I go through all this effort of making all of this art, packing it up, toting it across the country for these shows, hanging it, putting on openings, talking about it for a few hours just to take it down, tote it/ship it back to my studio and then have them collect while trying to stay motivated to make more and more art? This madness is for something greater, right?
Why am I writing all this? Because. With struggle, pain and torture comes something good. And my boyfriend is the one who helped me realize this.
My boyfriend is my best friend, my rock, my biggest supporter when I get into these moods. He lifts me up when I hate my art. He is one of the two people who know about my manic-white-washing episodes. He always, always has the greatest advice. I vented to him via text messages about my anxiety and disappointment in my work and what he said will stick with me forever. I know I can't be the only artist/entrepreneur/creative person to doubt themselves and their work this way, so hopefully this can help someone else These words are like gold. All artists need a Ryan in their lives.
If you are an artist/entrepreneur/creative person feeling similar to me and you don't have a Ryan, you can borrow mine to help get your out of the gutter of negative thoughts. Just put your name in place of mine:
Ryan: Today is the day!!!
Me: Is it a holiday?
Ryan: Oh yes. It's Whirl
Me: Literally everyone I invited to the opening canceled last minute. I have four people coming.
Ryan: I am proud of u. U don't see what I see. Trust me... Keep going. Trust the process. It's a journey you're on.
Me: I feel so bad. I feel like I'm failing. My work is dumb.
Ryan: In humility you will succeed. Ur work is art. Art is a gift from the artist, but also FOR the artist. Focus on the gift, not the outcome. The outcome isn't important now.
Me: I love you. You make me cry. You're my greatest gift.
Ryan: The gift will transcend.
Me: I don't see the gift. I feel like I'm pretending to make it something it's not.
Ryan: Because you're judging the outcome. The gift was on display last Sat night. U saw it, heard it. Felt it. It will come again. Trust. Four people are coming (tonight) for the gift. It takes time. Make art. Smile. Help people. Be humble. Make art.
Me: I love you.
He's brilliant. How can he be so smart? It's like he gave me temporary wings and I can fly. Focus on the gift, not the outcome. In humility I will succeed. Now, I will go sell my art. And, I will be happy to talk about it because I have remembered why I do it.
And ok, I don't really hate my art. But, I can dislike it at times because I want it to be perfect, and nothing is ever perfect in the artist's eyes. But, while I look at my work with the most critical eye, I need to remember that most people don't look at it the way I do. They see something else, and they like it enough that they're proud to hang it in their homes all across the country. I need to trust that I am doing good work that makes people happy.
My art is my love and my enemy. I love the creation process, but I know that it will never be good enough in my eyes. Nothing is ever finished. So I keep creating, keep trying, keep going and evolve my body of work until maybe one day I can see it differently. I won't stop. I can't.
This is my weekend to share it, so come see it! All details are in the last post before this!
|Visual directions to my show- Corner of 15th and VanBuren has a big parking lot, go into the 1450 door of the Northrup King Building, all the way up to the 4th floor, and look for my work in Studio 402!|