Tuesday, July 21, 2015

When an Artist doesn't Art

A strange thing happens when an artist doesn't art.

His mind becomes a swampy muck-ridden landscape. Imagine an empty bladder full of disassembled machine parts rattling around, breaking each other, scarring their container from within. Oh, don't get me wrong. It's not painful...but it is heartbreaking. It breaks his will, makes him question his decisions in life, his present condition where art cannot be engaged with to the extent it should be engaged with.

Irritation. Maximum disappointment. These things become the subjects of his rattled mind and he forgets a lot. He knows that he should find himself again. Make the parts in his head come together to make the machine he needs. But emotion arrives, in complete riot gear, to stop the advance of logic. He knows that he should logically be working on his art but his emotions beat doubt into his already detached mind. Don't even try. Don't even think about trying. Think about trying to think about trying. Yes. That's the best use of the artists time, the artist who doesn't art. He is broken. Wounded in battle. A prisoner of war where he is the torturer and the tortured. Mutilating himself from within himself, one hour at a time, every hour he is away from his desk without his pen or his brush. 

I can relate to the artist who doesn't art. It's not nearly as melodramatic as I made it sound but sometimes it gets really dark. You don't believe that there will ever be a way forward, or a way back. You feel stuck, moving sideways through time.

It gets dark.

But in a way, I feel that this experience is a rite of passage. This hard time of circumstances depriving me of the time to be at my desk working without distractions, it is what has really tested my mettle. I want to get better at what I do but how do I break away from my day to day chores to get down to business? Art in a busy world as full of paperwork, loans, consumer products as we have is not easy. To realize that there is a disconnect with your ideal image of yourself being the ideal art student working the ideal amount of time and the actual image of yourself is the biggest wake up call I have
encountered on my journey.

I've been the painter who didn't paint and the writer who didn't write. I have been the student who didn't study. It made me hate myself, perceive myself as weak; that's the natural knee-jerk reaction to this predicament. But looking at these trials objectively, I can see how they might allow me the opportunity to better myself. To work regardless of the stressful baggage of my daily life, that is the ability I want to have. It would be priceless and I know it can be done.

I wrote this semi-rant, semi-introspection, semi-bullshit to just get some of the rattling parts in my head fit together. Get my thoughts under control so that I can use them instead of being led by them. I guess that's why they suggest artists to start a blog. Sure its about the marketing, reaching an audience and having your work open to the public but it goes deeper than that. A blog can be a place where you can find pieces of yourself when you break apart. Build yourself back up to who you should be. Who the world needs you to be.