Sometimes I still fall into the trap of romanticizing my idea of being an “artist.” Living from mindblowing inspiration to inspiration. Getting struck by an idea, sitting down, and cranking it out. It’s all so magical and effortless in my mind.
Yet I find that to be the exception and not the rule.
The past few weeks I’ve been uninspired. Balled up like a pile of lint.
Yet somehow my productivity has been unaffected. The longer I make art, the more it becomes clear that my feelings about my work are unrelated to the quality or quantity of what I do.
My art happens in spite of me.
I needed something new for an upcoming event. So I sat down with a blank screen, a blank canvas, some plexiglass, and my library of photos.
I remembered a songwriter telling me once that he never suffered from writers’ block because he’d just write a song about it. I thought that was brilliant. And it stuck with me.
So I decided to make a piece that was inspired by a lack of inspiration.
And it worked.
Like it does every time.
Lately existential questions have reared their heads once again. What really matters? And my usual answers haven’t sufficed.
Something happened. Something changed. What exactly? Me. While I wasn’t looking. Now I’m trying to catch up with myself.
People say we don’t change, but I believe if we’re living right, we do strip away layers of ourselves we’ve piled on for protection. And as those layers disappear, our views, beliefs and motivations evolve.
It’s like I walked into a big room where no one turned on the light yet. It’s still dark, but I have a sense that the walls are further away than they were. My shuffling feet echo. It’s colder. Refreshing. But since it’s still dark in there, I have no idea where I am or what’s in the room.
Sometimes I have to step out of the game to get some perspective. Find a new entry point. A better one. That’s me today. Watching from the sidelines, assessing, setting up my next move.
And I’m painting my way through it.