Posted on 2 Comments

Break

Last Thursday, I created a post for my Instagram account. I’ve been wrestling with some challenges* in my creative, artistic and entrepreneurial plans for some time. Some of these challenges I couldn’t predict (pandemics, lock-downs, social distancing, etc.). Some challenges were ones that I thought I would be better at weathering at this point in my life. While I feel as though I’m doing pretty-kind-of okay most of the time, there are other times in which I know I’m most definitely not doing “okay”.

I need to be “okay”.

I think Sarah Anderson described my current situation best her cartoon below:

The pervasive societal myth of the artist as unhappy, depressive who creates art from their own horrible mental and physical existence is a topic for another post. There’s a lot to unpack in regards to that myth that I want to say, as it relates to me personally as an artist. But like I said, it’s another post topic for another time.

Back to the topic at hand…

I am not happy with where my creative endeavors and my entrepreneurial efforts are going. My efforts are not yielding the desired results. Due to a lot of my own personal mental and emotional experiences (read: “baggage”, and again, a post topic for another time) this is causing an inordinate amount of pain for me. Please know, when I say “pain” understand what I mean. My current situation hurts me. I pay attention my mental health. As a person diagnosed with clinical depression, who is medicated, it’s important to know when I’m not feeling right and why. This could mean that I need to have my meds adjusted, or it could mean that I need to alter things within my life to address whatever is making me not “feel right”. Or in this case, I need to address something that is causing me mental, and increasingly physical pain.

What I need to do is remove myself from a situation that is causing me pain. Right now, that means I need to take a step back from posting my art and my artistic processes on social media. I need to take a break for a while so I can figure out the changes that I need to make to my creative artwork and my entrepreneurial plans for the future so that I can be happy and relatively pain-free. I can’t do that when I’m not feeling right. When I’m in pain. When I am unhappy.

I’ve been working on a piece for the past few weeks. It’s a large, papier maché doll that is intended to sit on top of a dollhouse, complete with furniture. I’ve enjoyed working on this piece a great deal. There’s a lot going on within it. Lots of moving parts. Lots of different inspirations. Lots of references from my own life, culture and experiences. I realized several days ago that the compartments on the side of the head were much too small to hold the spooled embroidered felt banner/backdrop I had created. I had two viable options: 1.) make the banner/backdrop smaller somehow so it would fit what was already made, or 2.) take apart the head, make requisite repairs as well as a new set of housings for the banner/backdrop.

As difficult as it was, I chose the second option. I have an intense dislike for destroying anything, especially things that I have made myself. I suppose it’s hard-wired into my identity to create, rather than destroy.

 

This morning, when I looked at the corrections I had made to my artwork, I was much happier. What had made me so unhappy about the piece had been adjusted. I could see that even through I had to go in a different direction than I was normally comfortable, the end result was my own contentment as an artist.

So…what does this break from social media look like?

  1. I’m going to take a month off from social media. (June 15 to July 15, 2020)
  2. I won’t be posting any pictures of my artwork in process or of my finished artwork.
  3. I will continue to make artwork. I just will not be posting it on social media or anywhere else online.
  4. I will post here on my website once a week on Mondays (June 15, 22, 29 and July 6 and 13)

I am hopeful that this time away from social media will give me some pain-free breathing space to figure out what I want to progress with my entrepreneurial plans going forward.

 

*Challenges” — I’m using this turn of phrase as a substitution for other possible words like, difficulties, problems, trouble, issue, worry, mess, obstacle, setback, hitch, stumbling block, quandary, setback, headache, etc.

Links:

Sarah Andersen is a phenomenal artist. Go look at her stuff. If you don’t want to buy my work, buy hers.

2 thoughts on “Break

  1. Instead of a TV/monitor, shouldn’t the head be a smartphone?

  2. I could have used a smart phone, except that it would not have fit with the other influences. I was a very young child in the early 1970’s. We had four channels on the TV on a good day. The family phone was tethered to the wall in the kitchen with a very, very long cord that stretched all the way down the hall into the bathroom if need be!

Comments are closed.