Saturday, November 28, 2009

can I fake it 'till I make it?

I have these pictures in my mind that I need to get out.

That's the way my drawings and paintings start. But I try to get them out too quickly I think... I draw furiously, rushing to empty the image from my mind before it slips away, before the idea is gone... and the end result ends up feeling flat.

I feel like I should take more time with my pictures. Nurture them. Build them slowly, bits at a time. Leave them for a while and then revisit them. I beleive that this approach would produce better art... that the paintings and drawings, and little doodles and bits would have more emotion in them... I think that they would have more feeling, and consequently they would draw more people to them... maybe then I would be a "successful artist".

Maybe then more people would buy my work.

But I can't create this way. I want to. I need to. But I can't. Instead I am compelled to rush into it when the mood strikes, and work away at a feverish pace, producing many pieces in a night, until I am completely spent... until all the pictures and ideas are drained from my mind... my fingertips are numb... my hand is aching... my heart is empty... I push myself until I have to sleep.

It seems manic, almost. It is a little crazy, but that's the only way I know how to produce my art. One would think that this would result in fun, fiery paintings with lots of movement and texture and feeling... but what it produces are paintings of birds, and drawings of goldfish... sketches of dainty ballerinas in fluttery tutus.

If I'm feeling especially "indie" I might come up with a tattooed woman, or a sassy pin-up... but that's about as badass as my artwork can get.

I want more.

I want to produce giant pieces with thick flashes of colour, and found pieces of pages from old texts... swirling abstracts and striking colour fields... dark portraits of lost lovers with haunting eyes. But when I try to paint like that... when I try to get those images down on canvas, or paper, or whatever surface I can... what comes out feels fake. It feels like I'm trying too hard to be something that I'm not. It doesn't feel... authentic.

I don't know what I'm doing... I don't know who I am as an artist.

Why did I think this was a good idea again?

I get frustrated with myself for thinking that I could possibly make it as a full-time artist... as a small business owner... as my own boss. I'm not good enough. I'm not talented enough. I'm not strong enough. Sometimes I feel like I'm only pretending to be an artist, and that someone is going to notice... that they'll point out how there are too many brush strokes in that particular painting... I must have struggled to get the right gradation in the shading... Then everyone will know I'm not a "real" artist. I'm just good at faking it.

Okay. Breathe.

I know... we are all our own worst critics. I know that I can do more. I am capable. I am better than this. Maybe I just need to write affirmations like that all over my office and repeat them to myself all day... that wouldn't make me seem any more crazy, right?

Haha. Yup. Manic.

I don't know where I'm going with this, or why I even started typing this out. I probably shouldn't even hit publish. I don't know what I'm doing here, right now, this minute. Beating myself up because my sales aren't where I hoped they'd be when I decided to take this risk and focus on my art. What is the point of this? This isn't productive, and this won't help me be a better artist... and it's certainly doing nothing good for my level of anxiety.

I wish I could just get over myself and get on with it.

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