Monday, January 17, 2011

Why art is hard

Making art is easy for me. Too easy. I let it be too mush of a part of my identity for too long and too much of my ego was tied up in it. I won national awards, I went to the best schools, my work was even popular, but it didn't make me happy. After deliberately forcing myself to NOT make art for years I think I'm ready again, but I feel like an alcoholic that's been in recovery for years going to a bar. I don't want art to take up the part of my personality it was before. I want to express myself, but not let it become who I am. I realized after talking to a good friend last night that I'm so apprehensive about making art again because of its relationship to my Bi Polar disorder. I'm an amazing artist when I'm manic, of course. Mania is the worst. I'm so afraid of mania that I have put up with low level depression for years to keep it at bay. At first it's great, and then the anger comes. And then the paranoia, and then the depression comes back, worse than before. I just don't want to go there. I'm afraid of there. The thing is that I've got a lot of talent with or without the mental illness, but the mania gives it that extra POP. I'd give it all up. So many people tell me they wish they could draw or paint the way I do. I'd happily give it all up to take away all the pain its put me through. All the things I gave up because my mom pushed me so hard to be an artist. If I could get them back, if I could have run track in high school, taken shop classes, all the things I didn't do, if I could just have a few of them, go to a regular college, have a normal job I gave up so much just because I had talent and I thought it was the ONLY thing of value about myself, I really did. I thought it was the only thing I had to offer the world. I'm so much more than that, I know that now, but it took a long time to learn. I'm so scared.

Funny, all I did, or all I intended to do, was make a funny tee shirt for my friends. But it turned out too good. I was wearing the shirt and wishing I'd done it as an art print instead and those things I hate kept not creeping but jumping in, I should sell these, I want to make more, that whole identity thing, I'd rather be doing this than something else (surfing) the problem is that it takes me to a place I don't want to go. A treadmill I don't want to get back on. Other artists just don't understand, maybe I should be hanging out with JD Salinger and Cat Stevens and the pumpkin guy from Faith NO More. I hate the whole art scene, I hate the attitude, I hate selling. I hate what it does to my image and self worth. I hate that it reminds me of my mother and how hard she pushed me.

One of my prized posessions is a travel mug I made with A at a paint your own pottery shop on a whim. It was the most fun I'd had making art in as long as I can remember. Because it was just for me, just for fun, no pressure and with a dear friend. Its so hard for me to get that feeling from art. The feeling your supposed to get. I don't know if I can ever be free again.

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