Using my notebooks of therapy research as the base for a new personal mythology in my art.
I am completely into the flow of my creativity and I am working on 10 digital pieces and paintings at the same time. But I am not stressed, I feel better than I have in a very long time. So many problems have been solved. I am free from distractions and fears at the moment. It’s just me and my creativity – and Johnny for one hour a day during the weekdays when he’s at lunch. It’s all I need to keep moving forward.
It’s been such an intense month. I’ve created 5 digital works and I have 5 in progress right now. I am also working on 5 paintings at the same time. That’s 15 artworks, completed and in the making, in January alone. Just to understand how special this is, I will remind you that I only made 4 artworks in total during 2014. I need to slow down, but I’m just having so much fun – it’s hard to go slow when I am so deep into this amazing flow.
I am so full of ideas. I don’t know what to do with everything that pops up in my head every day. I have many new ideas for writing projects, artworks and future endeavors. I am not complaining, I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, but I don’t know how to handle it. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I also feel rich – and grateful. I have this talent that is like a treasure chest with a never ending surplus of imagination and creativity. As long as I am lucid in my head, able to use my hand, eyes, feet, lips or whatever physical aid I need to be able to create, write or speak, I will be loyal to what’s in that treasure chest.
I am a lucky person, because what I create and put into the world somehow comes back to me like a beautiful reward. Every week, people send me warm and generous messages about my art. Not all people get such feedback when it comes to their work. I don’t think people thank their mailman for delivering the mail on time every day, or send positive feedback to the pilot after a successful flight. Being an artist is to work with the mind, heart and soul as the raw material for an expression – and then send the expression into the world to be looked at, judged, bought, ignored, praised or ridiculed. It takes a lot of courage to do that, but it can also be so rewarding. And when I am having a shitty day, things like this reminds me of my mission and why I am displaying my heart and soul in the public arena:
The life of an artist is not easy. I’ve had to sacrifice a lot. I can’t even see myself having children when all I want is to be alone in my studio working non-stop for hours, days, weeks. My kitchen is a mess, I haven’t had the time to watch movies lately and I can’t find the time for other things I love to do, like reading, writing, making notes and research about psychology. I need to find a good balance for this flow, or I’ll disappear into it completely.
It’s past midnight and it’s all dark in here. There’s something bothering me about my latest paintings. I don’t know what’s wrong and I can’t shake it off. When I started painting again after almost 5 years of blockages and artistic drought, I was so focused on getting passed the anxiety, the fear, the queasiness and the nausea I felt just being near my easel. Getting started again without feeling afraid was my goal. I’ve reached that goal and now I’m focused on other things, like finding the right expression, the right artistic voice, the visual language that is true to who I am now and letting go of who I was when I stopped painting in 2010. I can’t connect with certain elements of the style – but then I also wish to go back to other elements that I’ve lost along the way. I have a deeply complicated relationship with painting. I both love it and hate it. It’s the centre point of my creativity and yet I lack flow and a sense of clarity. I feel like something is missing and at the same time like something is suffocating me. I need to figure it all out before I go on working in the paintings. I won’t finish the one I’ve been working on lately. I wish I wasn’t this insecure about my art, especially the paintings. I wish I had a more cohesive style. But at least I’m not being pretentious or making horror for the sake of horror. I’m not a poser. I’m real and my art has to be real, otherwise I can’t stand behind it.
It’s time to get real.
But first, it’s time to get some beauty sleep.
My day has been all about rain and words. In the afternoon I suddenly felt anxious, so I redecorated my bedroom in hopes of a change of style – and mood. My PMS is here again. Perhaps that’s why I cried after I finished the 5th season of Girls. Or perhaps I cried because I think Lena Dunham is so damn talented. Her writing inspires me a lot. I think the 5th season was the best one yet. Can’t wait for the 6th and last season.
I’ve been resting in bed, reading, all night. I’m also studying the writing while reading it. The style. Rhythm. Flow. Effect. I’ve always been self taught in every creative area, this is the way I learn how to express myself; I study, ponder, turn the information into my own version of the techniques and styles – and ponder some more until I let it out in my creative process. Watching movies, reading books, studying art is how I shape my own artistic voice. They are my teachers. I learn fast, I observe well and I transform it to my own thing in a way that feels natural and intuitive. I will sleep soon, so that I can leave my anxious demons to rest. Bad hormones is like poison to an artist mind.
I’m currently planning my comeback as an artist and and the long journey to success by breaking down the essential steps to be able to be more creative and to rebuild my career after the 7-year hiatus (due to creative blockages and being all burned out). It is important to do this slowly and methodically, otherwise I am putting my health and my whole future career at risk. If I rush it, I will just end up burned out again. It is frustrating, but I accept it – and now it’s just a matter of improving my self-esteem before I can get into that focus and flow that is necessary when striving for success.
In his book Outliers; The Story Of Success (2008), Malcom Gladwell states that it takes 10 000 hours of practice and preparations before you become really, really good at something – and add talent and a willingness to work extremely hard to that and you’ve got the recipe for success. Here is the ironic part: while being depressed and passive in my art career for so many years, I haven’t really been completely passive when it comes to creating art.
Because I couldn’t paint anymore (I just completely froze, every time I stood in front of the easel), I started to explore digital art instead and I’ve practiced and learned so much during these years and I’ve become really, really good. Since I started digging deeper into the digital media in 2012 during my creativity blockage, I’ve created over 60 digital artworks! While I was crying and being depressed because I couldn’t paint – I was slowly became an expert of making digital art. Funny.
And, I’ve also spent at least an hour every day writing on my blog – and I’ve been blogging for 11 years now, which may not be a big achievement in itself, but I have become very good at expressing myself through writing. It feels completely natural for me to write every day now – just as natural as painting or creating digital pieces.
And finally – if I hadn’t been depressed and creatively passive during these last 7 years, I wouldn’t have spent so much time binge watching so many American movies and TV-series and become this good at English.
So it all worked out fine in the end. I might have lost many years working as a successful artist – but now, I’ve collected knowledge, practice and cleaned the mental palette of old energy, mannerism and distorted self-images. I’ve grown and matured both as a person and as an artist.
At some point 7 years ago, I just stopped believing in myself – and that is the true death to an artist or any creative person. I will never make that mistake again. Nothing and nobody can stop me from achieving all my goals and dreams now. This is my time to not only rebuild my old career – but to design and create a new one.
I’m feeling restless and impatient. I want to get started with new art projects but I feel stuck in between two worlds. Since I’ve been so focused on my inner journey and creating a new life for myself in these last few years, I haven’t been focused on my art and it’s a strange process to switch focus from one world to another – like searching for Narnia in a dark closet behind a collection of fur coats. I need to relax my consciousness, to reach a meditative state – and dive into my own Universe. I have to isolate myself a little, I have be quiet and introvert without feeling pressured to be social or expressive. I will search for silence and solitude. That’s where I’ll find everything I need to be able to ge started and into the groove and the mood for having fun with my Lolita demons again.
I have never felt closer to my creativity and art before. I haven’t been feeling like this for 10 years, but even then I didn’t feel this connected to my creativity like I am now. No wonder I’m feeling a little impatient!