Yesterday I typed “over-inspired” into Google because that was how I was feeling. I wondered if anyone else in the world felt the same way. Much to my surprise, a bunch of articles came up. Not just from artists, but from people in all kinds of creative industries. Okay, so I’m not the only one out there. But what does that even mean anyway?
Above painting by Lisa Sanditz
First of all, I didn’t even know if I wanted anyone to read about my feeling this way, but now the cat’s out of the bag. How can an artist like me feel too inspired? What I mean by that is not necessarily feeling over stimulated by technology or the Internet, or even all the art I look at – as I look at a LOT of art every day. It’s that I seem to go back again and again to specific artists that I love: Lisa Sanditz, Amy Sillman, Maja Ruznic, Rita Ackermann, etc. I love these artists’ work – much more than I like my own stuff. And they inspire me of course. They make me want to work harder and they give me something to aspire to. But all this admiration and gazing is starting to freeze up my own creativity and ideas. I’m beginning to feel bombarded with these great ideas, techniques, aesthetics, etc. and want to abandon all of my own. I, of course don’t want to copy someone else’s style, so I’m left with apprehension about starting on my own stuff. Perhaps I am beginning to compare myself to these great artists and loathing my own work? If that’s the case, I’m screwed.
So, I came across this article, one of many – many people that were blogging about these same feelings – unfortunately none of them had much in the way of solutions. But this blog post struck a chord, especially because mjp constantly tells me the same damn thing all the time. And I kind of like the idea of being bored and left to our own devices. I’ll be away for a month and I think that seclusion might really do me good.
I also do think about growing up without the Internet and how I had a lot of time alone to daydream and come up with ideas of my own and maybe this generation doesn’t have that same opportunity. I wonder about that sometimes.
But I know I am ready for something new. I should probably read Art & Fear once more before I start painting again.
I’ve been all about the book lately, but I do still draw almost everyday. And I do not usually show these drawings here, or anywhere because, frankly, they are very raw and personal. I guess they are my secret drawings. Ha! Some of them are ideas for paintings and some are just little kernels of thoughts that I need to get out of my brain. This is why they are so crudely drawn. It’s not that I haven’t shown them ever, I guess I’m just a sensitive little kid about posting them, so be easy on me.
#Butfirst, I have to tell you that I got a Wacom tablet (a wonderful new gift from my wonderful boyfriend to make my life easier!) and I’ve been learning to work it. My first freehand drawing with it almost looks like my pen drawings:
It’s pretty damn close to say something like this, which was drawn in pencil.
And this is something that I’m definitely going to paint. It’s a combination of a pen drawing and the Wacom pen:
I am inspired by the Lisa Sanditz painting above for this one, but I probably wouldn’t be able to paint that loose if I wanted to. I most likely can’t help but to paint it the way I would paint it, so I probably have nothing to worry about as far as “voice” goes. I’m sure after I read Art & Fear again I’ll realize I have nothing to worry about.
Speaking of “voice,” I’m definitely not worried about that anymore in regards to my book. The whole thing is written in my voice to the point that I am sick of hearing it by now. You can only listen to yourself talk about yourself for so long you know. I was “done” with that part of it a long time ago. I am so glad that I am on the final draft. In fact, I’m a chapter away from being half way done with it now. And wouldn’t you know it, I’m shaving more off of it still. Remember, I’m trying my best to cut as much as I can – no offense to several of my friends or lovers, but I just can’t publish a book as thick as the Bible. Okay, maybe not the Bible, but it would have been just shy of Gone with the Wind, or something like that. My estimation now is that I’ll be able to get it just under 500 pages, which is still a long book, but not ridiculous at all. Also, all this time I had my book size wrong, so my page count was off. When I discovered that, it was like a huge weight came off me. Thank the book gods.