Have you ever been asked where you see yourself in five years into the future? Ten years? Or what your vision of the future is? I fucking hate this question. It’s because, for the life of me, I can not answer it!
I’ve been in crisis (again)! I think I just got myself out of it for the most part, but it all started when I started asking myself what I wanted. Not what I want to do. That’s obvious, but what I wanted out of it all.
It led me back to the whole Instagram scenario. Which, by the way, I found a setting where I can turn off seeing other people’s followers and “likes.” I did not know you could do this! So I turned that off. What a great, therapeutic solution to my life. Of course, I still know how small my numbers are, but fuck it! I now give zero fucks.
I read an excellent article about how not to give any fucks by Mark Manson. It’s pretty good. You should read it. I’m going to do my best to put it into application, but we’ll see.
Anyway, he’s not the only writer I’ve been reading lately. When I get into crisis mode, I tend to smush my face into the Internet to find answers to my questions. Solutions. You know, before I get deeper into the black hole?
For a while now, I’ve wanted to make changes to my website. Not so much the design, but the way things are arranged and some of the wording in certain sections. It’s been bothering me forever and it’s been on my list of “things to do.” Hannah and I have differing views about it, but I think I need to follow my heart. I want it all to flow better in sections and not have so much repeating art. I also want to base it on a kind of mission statement and bring the things I say/state back to my core values.
But first, I had to clearly identify what my core values were. So I set off on a bit of a writing journey to get my values fully defined. It wasn’t easy at first (you’d think it would be straightforward) but it wasn’t so much, though, it became exciting. Once I was able to get them square, the rest of the writing assignment (for which I gave to myself) flowed like melty butter.
I discovered and listed my core values, what I needed, what makes me happy, what I stand for, what I believe in, why I exist, what I do, and how I do it. I even think I got a better Artist’s Statement out of it too. And maybe these things seem very interconnected, but they are pretty precise in what they mean. I was able to pinpoint each item, and, I’ll tell you, it was illuminating.
Until…I got to what my vision of the future was.
How should I know? I mean, maybe I know, and I just can’t face it? Is that it? Who knows where we’ll be in five years? We can all be dead!
This whole thing started with writing out what my “big dream” was from when I was young. The one I had without shame. The one that wasn’t complicated with self-judgment you put on yourself about what seems outlandish or greedy. The one you have at eight years old.
Then I pulled out what parts of this dream had “values” in them, i.e., making authentic art, not being like other people, etc. The actual goals, or logistics, were not significant: living in a big loft with huge windows and southern light, blah blah blah. That’s not realistic, nor is it feasible, as it actually conflicts with who I am.
I’ve had all that. The big studio. But I like to work in my pajamas, work where I live, not commute. I want privacy and don’t want people visiting me in my workspace. I know this about myself. I only crave those things when I see other artists standing in their bitchen studios on Instagram. But that’s not conducive to my lifestyle.
So what do I really want? To live in the desert and work in my house, and I have that. Do I really want to work on giant paintings? Not really. Not so huge that I can’t move or store them or sell them to regular people.
I also don’t make a big ‘ole sloppy mess when I paint. I don’t need a space where I need that. I don’t paint on a wall, I use a table or an easel. And I’m a neat freak. I don’t even get a smear of paint on my hands without wiping it off while I’m working.
Okay, so I see what I am and what I want, but what do I want in the future? Jesus. I have no fucking clue. Have I lost all ambition or something?
The only thing I have for my distant future goals (something I’ve always wanted) is some kind of artist’s mentoring program–where I and other artists with experience help artists that need guidance. But how can I help others when I get myself into these predicaments? I mean, I can help guide someone who is 20 years behind me for their future. I can help them make decisions about art school, or not, which school, or what. Focusing, what it takes, how to take steps towards goals. I’m good with all that. I have almost limitless resources for all types of artists.
But I wouldn’t want to dedicate all my time to such an endeavor. I know how I can sometimes spread myself too thin. I’ve done this in the past. I still want to work. …But work toward what?
A mystery to unfold and to be continued I guess.