Stumbled across an unopened bottle of India ink, two brand new sketchbooks and a package of unused pens, hidden away at the bottom of my bookshelf. Slightly dusty, they lie in wait for enthusiasm to take over me and break them in. I’ve long forgotten what I bought them for but I suspect that they were obtained during one of my “dances of avoidance”. That’s what I call it whenever I feel anxious about creating art but instead of pulling out the drawing paper and pens that I already have at my disposal, I go to the art supply store and buy new stuff or read some inspirational literature on art. It’s a wonderful trick I play on myself. Instead of putting my energy into actually creating art, I do anything that gives me the impression that I’ve done something art related so that I can at least feel like I’m being an artist. I tell myself “I need the inspiration.” or “I need the supplies.” but really I just need to draw. Not that supplies and inspiration aren’t needed but the funny thing about inspiration is that it often comes when you’re doing your thing not when you’re sitting around waiting on it.
So it’s a peculiar game of procrastination, illusion and avoidance I play, a game that sometimes I can get stuck in until I remember something I once read about writers. There are two kinds of writers, the first kind reads books on writing, takes writing classes, does writing exercises, goes to writing seminars, collects books of their favorite authors and takes every chance to go to their book signings and that’s the extent of it. The second kind just sits down and writes. The first writer is actually more caught up in being a “writer” than actually writing. This is the illusion. Anybody can say that they’re a writer and do all of the things that can give a person the appearance of being a writer but the real proof is in the work and the working. This too can be applied to artists. It is to this that I am reminded to sit down and focus on creating art rather than doing things that give me the feeling that I’m being an artist. One’s passion for creating art needs to be stronger than one’s romanticized ideas of being an artist. 🙏😌