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One of these daze February 27, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in Art, just my blogs.

I sense a certain cycle is back making the rounds. I get the dreaded feeling like I'm slipping behind in the things I need to do to get ahead with my career. It's similar to the inexplicable feelings of avoidance I got while trying to paint more – when the mundane concerns of daily family life, and my response-ability as a dutiful "house-husband," claims supremecy and captures all my attention. It's easy to do. It makes sense that I get the bills paid, help kids with homework, and wash the pots & pans. It's all set up for low expectations that are instantly seen: "ooo! how bright my freshly-washed whites are!"

Really it's a lack of balance, which is not good for a consummate Libra like myself. In my heart I have a good inner dialogue, and a healthy "realistic optimism." But when performance is measured in concrete reality, I can see the flaws & shortfalls, get discouraged, and if I'm not careful, can wind up in a non-healthy melancholy. Even after some fantastic successes, avoidance and creative laziness can take ahold, take my breath away, and sap my spirit.

This isn't to say I'm not a hard worker. My Body and Mind never shirk from intense activity, but where they intersect, with creative pursuits – where a professional artistic goal is in sight – they combine with a miserable track record. It only gets worse after all these years, when I account for the wasted days spent curled up in the ball of denial.

It just doesn't make sense. I want to create visuals of wonderous beauty – like it's my Transcedental Meditation: it raises the conciousness for myself and the world about me. It would fulfill me and do well for my family. I know I can work hard. I try coming up with a schedule to fit in all the things I want/need to do. It's just hasn't balanced out yet.

Perhaps it's a FEAR (of success? my worth? criticism?) I haven't come to grips with yet.

Is it directional FOCUS? So many interests made it difficult, but I think I have that now. 3D art and animation is fun and interesting … but so was painting, and I struggled with it.

Is it concentrational FOCUS? Something to this. I was blessed with an artistic skill that came naturally, so maybe I take it for granted, and don't apply myself.

There is also a HORROR element to this, different from FEAR: Creative exploits sometimes transport me away to a freak out, pee-in-my-pants level of excitement – like a ligntening bolt. I have to step back and just go "WOW!" Maybe this is artistic EGO getting the best of my provincial mindset. To counteract this, I have tried cultivating artistic relationships with like-minded inspiring folk, but nothing works out so far.
But whatever the neurosis is, as yet undefined and uncatagorized, I'll never give up. It's a huge stone, and somehow I keep it rolling …

No matter my energy feels zapped now. Perhaps getting this off my chest will rouse the sleeping giant artist I hope is within me.

Must move forward: draw more and illustrate character and environment concepts; design my logo; supplement a skectchy college course by reading 3D manuals & completing tutorials on my own; research the field and local companies; apply for internships and/or employment.



1. Jackie - February 28, 2006

Greg: I think creative minds feel that way sometime or another. I know I ‘ve been there – I feel for you, brother. Hey – the days are getting longer! It’s actually still twilight when I step off the bus at 6:30, and the birds are singin’ in the woods in the morning.

As far as artistic friends – I’ve only had one that has been a friend, tried and true. Of course, now with blogs and the Internet, I feel like I have a host of new artist friends – well, a few at least. But of course that’s not like real-life companionship, or someone you can tip back a few beers with and grouse about artistic blocks, or whatever. And the non-artist friends don’t necessarily get what’s it’s like to face a void of creative energy.

The hardest thing can be picking up our artist’s tools and creating, even when we don’t feel inspired, or don’t have an audience. Sometimes we have to just go through the motions, to get unstuck. Sometimes, it’s healthy to put art aside for a week or a month – or even longer, and just ‘do life’, in all it’s mundane aspects, for a while. Sometimes we just have to wallow in the muck, get drunk, exercise all our vices and drag bottom, till we get buoyed up again for air, and find the sun is still shining, and our faith is renewed.

Sorry – this wasn’t meant to be a lecture. Keep on rollin’!

2. Greg - March 1, 2006

Thanks for the thoughts Jackie! Yes the new light is definitely nice. Even the crocus are popping up all over our yard now, seemingly undistracted from the nasty freezing we had lately.

True, internet artist buddies help a lot, but yeh, it’s just not the same without the realtime interaction …

Something that’s amazing to me is, like what you say, the “picking up” of the tools, and how hard it is to do that, when it’s really so freekin’ easy! It’s no fun to feel obliged to “hafta” do something, but nothing ever gets accomplished until the pen hits the paper, brush the canvas, fingers the frets, whatever. One day last year I was all caught up in a painter’s funk, and these words come to me “If you don’t paint today, you never will!” Shit! you better believe I got going that day, and it was a good time! Why the momentum doesn’t always carry forward to the next day for me is what I’m trying to figure out!

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