Process 6: Reader

Reader,

This is a weird one for me, and it might be a little stream of consciousness because I don’t know how to write about the process of this one. A year ago I would have told you what was happening in my life but I finally feel like I need to in a different way than this type of writing piece. I will talk a little about it briefly for transparency sake, but being mentally ill really sucks, and it hurts. Treat each other kindly.

Also thank you.

That’s all you get, because there are parts of myself that I don’t feel the need to share in this medium, I think I inadvertently give most of myself away in my work, but this one is kind of black and white.

So once again I’m at this question of what do we as artists owe our audience. I suppose owe isn’t the right word, we owe you nothing, if you think we do you are delusional. Maybe my question is what kind of artist I want to be. Am I someone who is willing to open my world up to you? Am I someone who wants to turn it around completely and let you know nothing? Am I someone who is willing to make myself into a character and share my life that way?

Up until now I’ve been a bit of everything, probably leaning towards the first one, but part of me wants to turn it around and find a way around ever sharing another personal fact about myself. I think what I’m saying to you reader, is I am afraid of you either way. As an artist I want nothing more to make something just for me but I have to think of you a little bit. Or the part of me that wants to be recognized wants to be seen, because we cannot pretend that going into the arts is not a need for recognition for your talent. Some things do better with the world than others.

I know I am not the type of person that will never share another personal thing about myself, because I think honesty is really important. I also have repeatedly said this in blog posts, conversations, and I think one or two episodes of my short lived podcast (that I’m working on bringing back) that artists are liars. In my more personal and vulnerable posts, I am crafting a narrative that suits the purpose of this project, and it is very intentional. I am as truthful as I can be without it affecting my health. Sometimes I make mistakes, but usually I’m pretty on top of it.

However, a lot of those of the narratives that I’ve created have been a lot of me, and I’m not sure if I want that obvious vulnerable “hey it’s Bri” out there.

This process piece is the reason I started this series, because I am trying to find a balance that keeps me safe and also educates about things I am passionate about. I want to start a dialog, I want to be able to speak openly and honestly about all parts of myself. I also don’t know if I want that responsibility, it takes a lot of energy to be me, a really stupid amount of energy, or maybe I’ve just got none. Who knows. My point is, why add to it.

Reader, some of you have been responsive, the majority of you have not, and I don’t know if some of those pieces were worth the amount of energy I had to expend to share them. As artists the work that we do is already undervalued, so sometimes it’s extra hard to feel like we are shouting into the void. Remember we (artists) are all looking for some recognition, whether it’s by our peers or the world, we are looking for recognition. I think in order for this artist to keep peeling back my armor in public I need to find some energy in this work.

I do not have that now, maybe with more work I will get some. I am an introvert so any interaction except significant conversation drains me. So tonight the thing that I wrote about in my little grey book is mine only, and the feelings are only mine and my close friends and family.

So I will continue to write about process, maybe switching it sometimes to process of creating other media as my artistic practice is finally expanding after a very long stand sill. I will continue to break my own rules and share with you Reader, but I think for a bit I’m going to continue to do it less, because I need to conserve what I’ve got, and at the moment it’s not much.

I hope we start saying more, maybe we’d understand each other a little better.

Anyway,

be kind

bri