“Part of being a creative artist is developing the determination to do your creative thing in spite of the fact that there will always be people out there telling you that it’s a waste of time.” ~ Drew Kimble
It’s a dull, nagging feeling that comes to me whispering “What’s the point?”. I’ve heard it from others but you’re often unprepared to deal with it when the words are being spoken from your own lips.
The vector of doubt is an insidious beast, creeping in and undermining the best of our aspirations and goals. Yet it is an undeniable part of the artist journey. Actually, doubt can be beneficial. Doubt comes from that part of us that seeks to keep us safe, to keep us from putting ourselves in any mortal danger. It rears it head and sends up an alarm when we venture off our beaten paths and into the unknown. But when not in any mortal danger, doubt can be paralyzing if left unchecked. It can choke the creative spirit and wither one’s enthusiasm. But it doesn’t have to be the death blow to one’s artistry and neither does it need to be eradicated.
I’ve come to accept that doubt is a natural part of being human and that it can serve as a reminder that I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone. When doubt rears it head, which is more often than I care for, I remind myself why it is that I create. I remember that there are things that I want to see in this world that don’t already exist and I’m therefore tasked with bringing them into existence. I remember that I have a vision that can be of inspiration to others and that to create is my way of giving back to Life for this gift of existence.
When doubt grips me and whispers “What’s the point?”, I simply turn on some music that inspires me, remind myself why I feel compelled to draw then pick up my pens and start inking.
Pretty much, it’s on it’s last leg…I guess. It’s only two years old but in the tech world that’s equivalent to being a dinosaur. Actually, the screen just keeps blacking out and although, with the help of a few Youtube videos, I’ve found some solutions but they only turned out to be temporary fixes. So I’ve succumbed to the reality that it’s time to get a new one. I suspect that these devices are designed to start malfunctioning around 2-3 years from reading through Youtube comments and noticing others were having the same issues around the same time with their phones. It feels a bit like a con that forces you to upgrade not because there’s some amazing function on the new phones that will ultimately improve your life but simply because the company and manufacturers need to keep making profit. Things are no longer built to last, they’re just built for consumption.
As someone who does most of her online activities on her phone, I thought being without it would be awkward at best, agonizing at worst. I’ve gotten so use to checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, eMail, ordering stuff through apps, and watching Netflix via my phone, I thought that not having mobile access would disrupt my daily existence. That clearly has not been the case. Actually my mind has been at ease. Although I can do all of those things on my laptop, which is more so a backup strategy for me, I’m really not too fond of sitting in from of my computer. So I’d rather do something else than crack open my laptop, unless it’s absolutely necessary, like right now. Instead, today, I did some reading, worked on some of my art, cleaned the bathroom, worked out, made chili from left over meat sauce and took a nap. It was a relaxing day with none of the anxiety that creeps in when your phone is “dry” or acting like a Pavlovian dog with all the constant blinking or buzzing from text messages, emails, “likes”, retweets and comments. Not that I don’t appreciate the engagement but I can’t help but notice how it’s conditioning me. It’s nice to just be with myself even if the “disconnection” was involuntary.
So I have a new phone on order and therefore waiting on its delivery. In the meantime it will probably be a few days before I do anymore posts, as I said before, I really don’t like sitting in front of this laptop. So until my phone gets here I’m going to just enjoy my “me time” with hopes that all of you lovelies are doing well.
Sometimes I wonder, does the artist choose their medium or does the medium choose the artist. It’s a bit odd to think that some inanimate object has chosen you to master its ways and intricacies but is it possible that in some mysterious kind of way an artist gravitates, maybe even feels compelled to take up a particular medium, forsaking all others just for that One? I ponder this sometimes because pen and ink in all honesty is an unforgiving medium and pointillism is laborious technique. Yet I love it and I can’t really explain why. I try but the words don’t seem to fully convey what I want to express. It’s more a feeling than anything logical. Maybe our chosen mediums are an expression of our personalities. Maybe certain personalities gravitate towards paints, while others take up watercolors and still others prefer charcoal, pastels or color pencils.
The pen is a precise instrument. It requires a certainty and control in stroke because once it’s made there’s no erasing it or covering it up. If a mistake is made you either have to live with it or start all over. So you have to be sure of what you intend to do. And while ink on its own can be messy and unpredictable, the pen itself is sleek and neat, where together they create a harmony that flows out when one masters the stroke.
So sitting here, giving it some thought, I can see how maybe certain creative personalities do gravitate towards certain mediums and styles. I’m rather neat and orderly in my personal life. Bit of a stickler for semantics. Strong preference for taking my time with things. I despise being rushed unless there’s an emergency. I like things to be refined and elegant yet modest. And to top it off I used to want to be an architect (still do), which is a field all about precision and control as well as creativity. So maybe my love for pen and ink has a lot to do with my personality. I chose it and it chose me because we’re suitable for each other. A perfect match made in an artsy heaven.
I now want to go shop for fountain pens. 😊
It’s been a year now since she moved on from this plane. I miss the sound of her little paws racing down the hall, coming to greet me whenever I return home. Part of me longs to get another feline companion, yet part of me feels it’s too soon and fears going through the trauma of loss again. They don’t live as long as us and I’m still young enough to out live another furry friend. Maybe I’ll wait until I’m 60 to bring one home again. We’re bound to leave this world together then…or at least I won’t be too far behind. For now though, my heart still aches from the loss and yet longs for the void to be filled. I think I’ll always miss my little buttercup but it’s still too soon for me to move on.
I’ve been reminiscing a lot lately, back to a time, not too long ago, when it was just me, a Moleskine sketchbook, one mechanical pencil and a technical pen. Such simpler moments. A little something I would like to get back to.
My brain has been fried as of late with all that is going on in the world right now. Unable to keep up or keep the chaos in my head straight. I find myself “disconnecting” more. People come to me and say “Did you hear about…” “Have you read about…” “Girl, did you see on…” And I almost feel embarrassed to say “No, I haven’t.” There’s only some much I can attend to. There are only so many things I can give my energy to before I burn out or sink into a depression. It’s difficult to keep creativity flowing with so much turmoil and outrage.
…so I unplug and try to cultivate moments of simplicity and peace before the chaos consumes me.
I’ve realized that my recent desire to return to doing some works in just black ink is my creative spirit expressing this longing for simplicity. I’m gonna just flow with that for a while.