Almost two years ago I stepped away from art- completely.
I had decided I was an artist by the time I was three, and creating was the only thing I stuck with. I stuck with it like glue, and then suddenly I just couldn’t take it anymore.
It took nearly a year before I realized why. It had nothing to do with frustrations over failing projects, rejections from grad schools, not making money. This was what I told everyone, and it was what I told myself.
It takes time- often a very long time- to recover from trauma, much less to accept it and to be able to talk about it, to express it and to expose yourself. The truth is I couldn’t create art that was expressive, because I couldn’t bear the expression itself. My art was dying in a sense- I thought every project through, believed that each one had a purpose, but all but two came close to being true to myself.
The best advice I have ever gotten was from a professor who seemed to be questioning his own position as a teacher, artist, and father.
“You should be crying, angry, emotional when you make your work…”
I can’t promise these were his exact words, but that was the gist of it.
I stepped away because I could not let my emotions out into the world. I couldn’t even let them into my own consciousness. I did cry when I made those two pieces- the ones I consider to be the only true art to my name. I’m not happy with how they look, and one isn’t even finished, but at least something in me was expressed.
I can craft now, without the sting of pain, but when it comes to the artwork I truly want to make- I can still only dream up ideas. I know that I want my art to be honest. How can it be honest if I cannot be honest with myself? It can’t.
I blocked out art from my life because it became too terrifying. There were months when I didn’t even journal, where I couldn’t stand the thought of going into a studio. But now I miss it- the freedom of creating, not quite enough to return to the “art world,” but enough to know that someday I will go back to art.
Perhaps blogging is my (weird) first step back to my art?
Time will tell- in the meantime, I’m going back to painting a HIDEOUS purse that I still love for some reason… ;-D