Let me start off by saying this-what I’m about to write about may initially come off as a bit haughty, but it’s not meant to be that way. Just read what I’m saying and realize I am venting, trying so very hard to do what’s right for me.
Over the last year or so I’ve dipped my toes in the art of mixed media/collage/painting. I have grown to love it very much although I am not consistent. In the course of this past year I went all ‘gung ho’ and followed the blogs of other similiar artists, checked out Etsy shops of mixed media artists and paid money for online classes with the hope that by participating in these group art activities some miracle of the art gods will propel me successfully right out into the art world, blessing me with a style, and infuse me with the sense of just what subjects I should paint. Much to my demise, 0nly confusion, jealousy and the feeling of being overwhelmed bombarded me instead of those good things I was hoping to achieve. Worse yet, blog hopping and checking out the lives of other artists, their muses and their budding careers has left me with feelings of contempt. Unhealthy? Yes, I’d say quite a bit. But I couldn’t understand why.
All my life I’ve been creative and lived artfully, knowing no other way to be. I have always wanted to have some kind of job in a field of art. But, not since I began searching the web, have I ever been hit with the certainty of just how many people there are in the world vying for the same spot (yes they are-get real.) to achieve noteriety, with the hopes of cashing in on their talent as a means of income. Just bopping around the internet has caused me to hit that harsh reality with the same pain and velocity of bashing into a brick wall. It brought me to a dark and depressing bottom line-there are thousands of us out there and it feels like the market is so saturated one can drown from it. I know, I know, it’s a big world out there and some well meaning folks even hold onto the notion that there’s room in the world for all of us. And there is, I suppose. But it still depresses me. I think it happens to the best of us-we get so caught up in what others are doing that it causes us to lag behind or lose confidence in our own abilities. Do you hear these words in your mind… They’re so much better! What’s the point? You can go on and on. It’s enough to send even the most psychologically sound gal spiraling into a mild depression retreating to her bed with the cat for days on end, eating cookies and pints of ice cream in a clouded daze, watching old episodes of Sex and the City over and over again-feeling like a bit of a loser. This is how I feel. It truly makes me feel disheartened.
Being a perennial optimist (only suffering momentary bouts of deflation like right now) in an effort to combat these feelings and to maintain the usual positive stance I quickly take in my life, I realized what it is I must do to keep my sights set on what I want out of life . How can I accomplish my artist goals-no matter what the outside world holds in it’s hands? I’ve decided from this point on to focus on myself. I need to nurture and concentrate on the artsy person I love the most-me. I no longer want to navigate from one art blog to the next. I believe it’s a detriment to allow myself to be exposed to so many ideas and styles of other artists. I think that doing that dilutes ones originality-at least, I know it dilutes mine. I will not take any more online classes. Instead, I think I will spend my time exploring my own style at my own pace. I want to become a purist in a sense, and stay true to what’s inside of me that’s waiting to burst out and reveal itself. I hope that by doing this I will give myself a better chance of reaching real contentment and joy. I want to be a self supporting artist, and by taking this sabbatical from basking in the success’ of the artistic multitudes and their art, I can rise out of that muck, brush myself off and polish myself to the gleaming, artsy kind of woman I hope to be.
Budda said, believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. By following my own advise, and ultimately the words of Budda, I hope to come to my senses.
How about you? Do you also struggle with feeling immersed in the world and losing your originality? How do you deal with it?