So, yesterday I was having a bad day or something. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I was in quite the funk. Did you ever have one of those days when things just don’t seem to go right and nothing, no matter what you try or how hard you try to fix something, anything, seems to go your way. Man, I really hate that.
Then, it got me to thinking. It’s not just yesterday, really. I mean, I think I’ve been in a bit of a lull, a sort of a funk for a bit now. It seems like I just can’t get myself going, like I can’t do what I want to do. I don’t know, sometimes anyway it just feels all wrong on so many levels.
There are some days, and I’m certain that all artists have these, when you just feel like throwing in the towel. You feel like maybe you should not be doing this at all and, perhaps you should seriously reconsider your career in fast food or seriously give up the possibility of ever quitting your day job. If you’re an artist, you know what I’m talking about here. These are the kind of days that are filled with mountains of self-doubt. These are those days when that little voice inside your head saying, “No you can’t!” starts to drown out anything else productive up there. Now, I don’t often get these days, and I’m smart enough to know that they can actually be a good thing (seriously.) What I mean by that is that this self-doubt often brings with it (it escorts in with it if you will) a new wind of change. It forces you to re-evaluate that which you do and to make you make some changes. To reassess, to regroup, to recharge, to reload (OK, I really hate that expression but, in this case anyway, it really does fit.) A lot of the time new work, exciting new work, comes after a period of self-doubt. Yes, it’s true. Artists often ride this roller coaster of self-doubt, “Waaaah! I’m not good enough,” “OK, let me try this,” “Yay! Look at me, I’m really flying now!” far too often. I know. I’ve been there (here?) before. Being an artist can be a series of never ending one day up, one day down head trips of epic proportions.
I went to lunch with a friend earlier this week and we were talking about this. I told her, “it got really quiet and then, suddenly, almost as if out of nowhere, opportunity comes flying in and lands in my lap.” Working in the arts can be a bit like that. It’s not a constant steady stream. To put it another way, this ain’t your typical 9-to-5 job, kiddies. Success comes when you can get it and opportunities don’t come evenly. It gets quiet for a long period of time and then, just when you think it will never happen to you and maybe your phone isn’t even plugged in anymore, the phone rings with your next big deal, your next big show, or whatever. And, you’d think that really, as you get better at *this* (whatever “this” really is) this kind of flying high-to-sinking-low cycle would balance itself out but, sadly, it seems like it’s an even deeper wave. The highs get higher yes but the lows? Oh, man, the lows can kill you.
Of course, this doesn’t stop me from every now and again thinking “Maybe I should really just give this all up. Maybe I really should spend the rest of my days being content working at a desk job and just put all of this art stuff out of my mind. Maybe I should just put down all of the camera gear and just throw in the towel.”
And then I remember the simple things. It’s the simple things really. That’s why I’m posting this image today. I like to paint. Really, I do. And I like to take pictures. And, I think, I’m good at it. I mean, sometimes, when the light is right, the mood strikes, I like to think I can take a good one every once in a while. And that? Yeah, that kind of thinking is what keeps me going because the rest of it? The shows and the gallery talks and the friends with Canon Mark cameras with blah, blah, blah lenses that cost gobs amount of money, the travel, the airports at 3 am, the frame sales at Jerry’s, the studio visits, portfolio reviews, and crap? Yeah, man, that’s just noise. You can fill your days up with that kind of noise but it really doesn’t get any different, any better than taking a simple camera out when the light is good and firing off a few shows or laying down some great paint on canvas and making it all unfold before your eyes.
That’s the real magic of a new day and *that* yeah, that’s so what keeps me going.
Until next time…