Over the last few weeks and through holiday socializing, I had couple of interesting commentaries from people in my life about my art and wanting to do creative work. The comments were very different, and very entertaining and thought provoking... One essentially compared the idea of trying to do creative work for a living to wanting to get paid for being a professional slacker. The other, from someone who came by and saw a drawing I'd done recently, was shock and awe, as in: I know you doodled, but this is really good...like you can really draw!
Both these comments baffled me. The complimentary one, because yes, I can really draw. Why would there be an assumption that I'd want to pursue something creative if I sucked at it? (Maybe they didn't know how ridiculously self-critical I am, ha!) The level of surprise caught me off guard. But then, I realized, that because of being shamed about my desire to do art for most of my life, I haven't done as much as I'd like. And what I have done, I've mostly kept pretty quiet and hidden... occasionally posting something here or on Flickr. It occurred to me, if I'm not showing my work to people, why would they assume it's any good?
The other one, repetition of a message I've heard my whole life: art is not a serious pursuit. I don't think the person even realized what they were saying, it was a passing remark. But it's one I've heard so much. Art is a hobby, a waste of time. It is not "real work". I was surprised to suddenly be confronted with this message again, from someone I didn't expect to hear it from. But instead of letting it send me reeling back into a vortex of shame and doubt, I simply said to myself: "No, that way of thinking is not mine." I didn't take it in. And in fact, it turned up the flame under my butt a little, a feeling I hadn't had in a long time... "I'll show you!"
In any case, I realized that since my little
365 72 Days of Botany experiment, I haven't posted much art. And I should. I want to. So here are a few of my favourite drawings and paintings from the winter so far:
I really love this last one, and I'm thinking of doing a set of probably 6 little botanical/succulent paintings and then putting them up for sale on Etsy, and maybe also making some prints or cards from them as well. I still need to figure out the best way to get art prints done... (Have you done this? Do you have a favourite place to get prints done in Vancouver? Have you tried Opus?)
And one bit of news before I sign off: Issue 2 of Chronically Yours is one page away from being fully laid out! Then I've got a bunch of scanning, printing, and stapling to do, and it'll finally be done!