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. . . And worse.

Because I choose to stand when I draw, drawing feels like a standing meditation. By concentrating on my work and blocking out distractions, I feel calm and and more relaxed. Existing in a calm state has positive benefits in other aspects of my life. I feel happier because I’m doing something important to me. I feel more confident and less inclined to take others’ criticism personally. I complain less and pick fewer fights with my husband. I’m better able to focus at work (except when I’m daydreaming about drawing.)

In a lot of ways, making art feels like infatuation. It’s as though I’m obsessed. It’s all I can think about when I’m away from it; it’s all I want to do when I’m at home. It’s all I want to think about, initially, at least. For this reason, I’m very prolific early on in the project. I can create 2 or 3 pieces in a day. But nobody can keep up that kind of intensity, and so my productivity begins to wane. Then I’m making one a day, then 2 or 3 a week, then 1 a week. I became fearful when I took a rest for a week; afraid that it would be another 20 years before I made art again. For that reason, it’s important to change things up after a while.

Not everything is roses when I’m making art. I get irritable because I feel I cannot be bothered with the mundane. My house is a mess. I don’t cook. The bills pile up. The dog annoys me when she needs to go out. I’m bored with TV – it feels like a waste of my time. I’m impatient for my work day to end because I itch to get home and draw again. My relationships suffer because I want to stay home. I bore my friends with discussions of “my project,” or show pictures like an annoying seatmate on an airplane. I probably need to go take a shower!

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