So, I’ll be honest. I’m not doing very well. I don’t even know if I’ll be posting this. I’m just going to type and see where this leads me. Here goes nothing…

For a while now, I haven’t really been making any art, which I’ve mentioned. I wasn’t sure why, but it’s partly (or maybe all) because of depression. I’ve had no motivation, no inspiration, no optimism. Making art is not exactly making me happy these days. These feelings started small and have only snowballed into something gargantuan. I thought it had something to do with Instagram, but it’s much more than that.

I can’t put my finger on any one reason. Is it all the recent rejections? No idea. I’ve had a lifetime of rejection, so why would it bother me more now than before? Not sure that’s it. I don’t feel devastated over it or anything. So is it that or something else?

I do know that my confidence is pretty wrecked. But that’s nothing new, either. Not really. I’ve been finding it harder to justify making new pieces if they aren’t going to be “fantastic.” I don’t want to make more storage problems. I feel like I have the albatross of hundreds of paintings in my garage, and they’re all mediocre or worse. So, what was the point of creating all that? I wonder now.

This feeling really isn’t much different than when I came to the end of my music career, which I don’t like to talk about. I don’t feel nearly as traumatized now as I did then. So there’s that. There’s a huge difference. No one ever abused me for making art, gaslit me, tricked me, overworked me, controlled me, squelched me, or made an enemy of me for being an artist. No one has actively gone around trying to ruin my career so I couldn’t work in Los Angeles. No. That happened when I was a drummer. This isn’t the same thing.

Nevertheless, I was also burnt out then. I don’t blame my old band (totally) for burning me out. I got pretty deathly ill there for a while, and my body gave out. I blamed myself for that for a good fifteen years, but I finally learned that it really wasn’t my fault. These things just happen. People get diseases.

It did give me time to focus more thoroughly on my art, though. In some ways, it was a kind of a blessing in disguise because painting made me happy. Back then, it did. And I started to sell my work. I was surprised, but I wasn’t very goal-oriented at first. Maybe a bit, but not obsessed.

I don’t know when I got obsessed. I don’t know if “obsessed” is the right word. Ambitious. I got ambitious, but I didn’t think that was such a bad thing to be. I felt accomplished. I felt happy with the projects I completed.

Then I crashed after 2015. I didn’t even know I had a big ego until someone came along and murdered it. I was dropped from my gallery at the time, and then I was devastated. I wish I could go off about it, but I can’t. I don’t know if I’ve ever recovered from that or from the collector from Hell who put me on a pedestal and later shot me down to pieces saying I’d never amount to anything. That was all pretty awful.

So, a little abuse there, but not as bad as the band. Maybe it was enough to stick to me. Maybe it’s been enough to fuck with my mental functioning. Maybe it brought up all the past abuse. I don’t know. All I know is that I feel that same burn-out now, like I’ve been chewed up, eaten, and spit out. And I don’t feel like putting myself back together. I feel kinda resigned. No energy. Just fucking tired.

I need to make art that makes me happy, but that isn’t coming right now. At least not often, or as often as it once did. I don’t know what’s wrong or what I’m going to do.

I signed up for that Open Studios Tour in October. It cost a bunch of dough, too, so I’ll do that. I’m sharing a studio with an artist friend and only have a small wall space, so I’ll display some small watercolors. I’d planned on making more for that, but I really haven’t made much. It’s been hard to even pull that off, and that’s relatively easy. But it hasn’t been easy at all.

I have no idea where all this is going. A much longer break from art than I thought? A permanent break? A temporary breakdown? I keep trying not to think about it, but it’s hard not to. Maybe the stuff that’s happening in therapy (reporting the rape and all that) is causing all this. I really have no idea. But these are my thoughts and feelings lately. And now you know.

4 thoughts on “Low

  1. eric May 28, 2023 / 11:35 am

    Hi Ayin, I’d like so much to help but I don’t know how. Our brain is a huge chemical factory and we do not control at all the flows of emotions, feelings, dreams and nightmares, rational and irational stuff…
    Some food for thoughts: you have had a hard life and sometimes I think all the bad experiences lead to some sort of PTSD … Read about epigenetics (definition is: the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work) . I think it is interesting to understand a bit better how we function and try to accept it.
    Read Vincent Van gogh letters to his brother Theo. The full version.It is so amazing to go through his life and experience. You will better understand yourself.
    Don’t forget: you’re a great artist ; stop the bs about your ‘mediocre’ works !
    Last thing: you’re not alone and you are making a strong mark on your world, with your own words, lines and colors.

    • Ayin Es May 29, 2023 / 3:53 am

      Eric, You are too nice to me. Thank you for your wise words. I hope to get out of this funk soon. I hope.

      I have read all of Vincent’s letters to his brother and they are both beautiful and heartbreaking. I very much related to them and identified with him in many ways. I also know about my brain cooties/chemicals, but of course can’t understand it all completely. I have bipolar 1, and I complex PTSD, so there’s that. I need to give myself a break, I know. Thank goodness for therapy. I do a lot of DBT and that helps. It’s hard to apply it to my motivations toward my art though. I’m a work in progress.

      Yesterday I sorta came to the conclusion that I don’t have to make a decision about right now. I can decide not to decide and try to relax for a while. Do the art as it comes/if it comes.

      Thanks again. I appreciate you. ❤

      • eric May 29, 2023 / 9:08 am

        “I don’t have to make a decision about right now. I can decide not to decide and try to relax for a while” Yes !! Exactly that. That’s the good decision I’m sure.
        And make you a gift, buy yourself a (very) nice fountain pen and make some loose drawings on nice white paper just for the pleasure of it… Keep yr art spontaneous as it has always been…
        Take care Ayin, I appreciate you too.

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