I Saw the Sign

Ever since I created the other two  blog/sites, and ever since I posted Surprise! on the Exodus Project‘s blog website, I have been reconsidering a lot of things about my art career. First, I had to get a few things squared away before focusing on all that though. And that was good, because I really didn’t want to think about it. Plus, I’ve been sick. For a long time in fact. It’s all been reminding me a little bit of the days when I stopped playing the drums. I didn’t want to have to face facts, so I carried on with the things I had to do so I could distract myself. In this case, I was in hyper-focus – learning more CSS and php, how to make WordPress web pages, and concurrently, I was working on a couple of grant applications too. In fact, I couldn’t even finish one of them on time. That was a first for me. So, I took it as sign.

I believe when I wrote that blog post about how I can expand the Exodus Project to further heights and all that shit, I was probably in one of my manic states. My mind was definitely over working, which is not unusual for me. When I do too many things at once, my brain gets filled with ideas that I can’t keep up with. I’ll also have a hard time sleeping because I think I need to keep going. I’ll even program myself to work in my sleep. Seriously. It gets dangerous and I can get delusional.

However, I got a few things off my “to do” list and felt slightly unburdened, like I could pause for once. I got a good night’s sleep and there I was, left with the silence, and those are the moments that scare me. I have to face *reality.* I’m not distracted busying myself up with all them tasks. I am too exhausted to busy myself up with anything. Missing the deadline for that grant was nothing. I hardly cared. I just couldn’t deal with being sleep deprived anymore. And I couldn’t deal with worrying about my pending health issues anymore. Not only that, but being weak, tired and shaky has been more prevalent than ever before. It was/is all getting to me.

I think since I’ve been to the desert in September, and perhaps before, I’ve been rapid cycling. Now that I’m recovering (I mean, I hope I’m recovering), it’s caused me to look at my life. Lately I’ve thought, if I had to install the Lancaster Museum show, say, today, I don’t think I could physically, or mentally, even do it. Not without a ton of help from others. I look back and don’t even know how I installed it in 2015, or how I installed the Journal Project at Craig Krull last year. Who was that person? I think about how I haven’t even really painted anything and finished it since August! This is very rare for me…And I have pending project proposals to work on a large-scale series of paintings? What the hell is wrong with me? Am I trying to kill myself or something? Yeah, maybe I am.

So now I am not so much looking forward to the new year, but I’m looking forward to 2018 – when the hard, physical labor of my “to-do” list is done, and when I think I can tackle the remainder of the list. Because, I hereby will not add anything to that to-do list. Especially art career-related items. Why? Because I found that the career stuff doesn’t mean anything and it’s all just empty. (I will write a longer blog post on this later.) I am no longer looking to make my CV “better.” (Yes, I really said that.)

The new plan for the road to 2018 is all about “LETTING GO” of lofty ambitions and applying for grants. I will not write up another proposal for some intricate art project. I am done with all of that. I no longer have the energy.

Also, my newsletter frequency, although already recently tardy and kind of absent, will be coming out a lot less. Or at least the content will be changing. There won’t be so much news about how I’m in this show or that show anymore, because I’m not very interested in showing anymore. If exhibiting happens to interrupt the quality of my life in any way, forget it. I’m out.

Now, I’m not quitting art. I will still make it, but not as much and not as large, and not necessarily to exhibit. Because I am tired of promoting and I’m tired of being a salesperson. I’m especially tired of socializing, and tired of keeping up correspondence too. I feel like passing out even thinking about going to art openings – yours, mine, or anyone’s. I’m tired of standing there with a smile on my face as if nothing hurts, as if I’m not about to fall over. I’ve been paying for that kind of stuff two, three, even four days afterward – incapacitated and laid up in bed. Why do I do it in the first place? Just to be nice? To be supportive, and encouraging? I’m already nice and supportive. I do encourage artists to keep going and make their best work. I just can’t stand on a cement floor for three hours anymore. I think you get the picture.

If I have new work by 2018, and it happens to be cohesive enough where Craig wants to show it, then I can go out with a bang. Wouldn’t that be cool. Until then, retirement from this game slowly unfolds. And I’ll still write about it. I like writing. We all know that. I eventually have a book coming out too, so there’s that too. And I’ll post the art I make on my website.

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