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.

Monday, January 3, 2011

One More Resolution

I've gone and done it again, I've procrastinated too long and now I don't have time to surf before work. I guess I shouldn't consider it a wasted morning since part of the reason that I don't have time to surf was that I took my dog for an extra-long walk, ironically under the guise of checking the surf on the north end of the beach. Somehow I got home just after noon, and if I don't get in the water by noon I can't really surf for more than half an hour to forty five minutes before I have to get out, and putting on and taking off my gear alone takes at least 20 minutes so it makes is not worth it, unless I'm really jonesing. So my resolution is to be out of bed by 9:30. I got up at 10 today and it was just not early enough to get Dave a nice walk and get a nice surf in without rushing so much as to make it not fun. 9:30 may seem like sleeping in plenty, but with my work schedule I'm usually not in bed till 1:30. I went to bed early last night since I didn't have to work, and it was still hard to get up, even though it was easier than usual.

My problem is that I spend too much time on the computer after work. The best thing for me to do would to not even turn on the computer after work and take Dave for a nice walk, and maybe do some yoga or something instead. The tricky part is that if I want to listen to music or anything I need to use my computer, I don't even have a TV.

Well, the way I've managed to keep resolutions in the past is that I see a resolution as a goal that I have a year to achieve. From what I understand most people don't keep resolutions because they quit as soon as they've blown it once. So the goal is to get in bed by 1:00 tonight and get up by 9:30.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resoloutions

Some people don't like New Year's resolutions and think they don't work, but I've had a pretty good track record of keeping mine. I usually keep at least a couple of them. I read that writing them down and then not looking at them helps, and that's worked for me before. I also tried writing them down where I could see them every day. I also don't count New Year's Day. I see the whole holiday season as a kind of time for being decadent and careless while the days are like 5 minutes long and you aren't going to get anything done anyway. The sun went down at 5:01 today. YUCK! I hate winter.

So here goes not in any particular order:
1. Learn Surfcam, believe it or not, that's a career thing
2. Practice my pop ups every day.
3. (I did not keep this one last year, so I'm altering it to be more realistic this year): resume out of water surf training at least 3 times a week. Its funny how it was so much easier to be disciplined about that when I first started surfing than it is now.
4. Do Beth Terry's "Show us your Plastic Challenge" one week a month.

Instead of the usual "eat healthier-loose weight-save money" trifecta I've come up with a plan. When I lost my ATM card and had to live on only cash I realized what I already knew which was that I spend too much money on snack-fast-junk food, and the way to keep me from doing that is to not have money to waste on it. Since I do the bulk of my grocery shopping at the Farmer's Market on Saturday, most of the food I buy for myself is pretty healthy. If I don't have access to anything else, that's all I will eat. The plan is to give myself a cash allowance each week and keep my debit card out of my wallet so I can't buy junk food without having to pay cash for it. I'm making the allowance bigger than my old "Food Budget" that I kept mentally but didn't actually stick to so that my "Fun Money" and my "Food Money" are now one amount. That way if I want to go to the movies at the end of the week or buy a new outfit, I'll have to stick with beet chips and hummus and celery and peanut butter instead of sneaking out for a burger to temporarily cheer myself up for whatever reason. This totally worked when I lost my debit card but wanted a new dress for my company's holiday party, so I know I can make it work on a regular basis. The trick is that I'm going to do it in one week chunks.