the color

today I am posting a poem instead of a blog. Posts like this will have all lowercase titles. 

You made me strip the color out
denial, anger, depression, depression
depression. Acceptance.
I got used to the
safety being off but no
bullets in the gun.
they're in the drawer.
you know, just in case.
But then he told me
as his eyes lingered just a little too long
and his hands shift from his keyboard
that was the one thing about you.
The one thing?
the one thing what?
that made me, me?
was I not me anymore?
you know, the one cool thing
the one thing people, remembered
In that moment I knew
I needed it back. The one thing stopping
me from fading into oblivion
So I wove color back into my life
feeling free once more
But always with one eye open
Never with friends.
And never without feeling something
But hey, I heard they stripped the color out of you too.
That was the one thing about you. 

Artists Block

I've been trying to think about what to write about today, Falcon Ridge is over, and I can only emotionally handle doing one post about it anyway. So I've been wracking my brains all morning, and then it hit me, writers block, artists block, whatever stops me (and you I'm sure) from doing art. 

There's the minor things, like being too busy with other aspects of your life, or not coming up with ideas that you feel strongly enough to act on, and just doing other things. 

And then there's the big things, the issues you actually have to work through. Not being able to start something because of the anxiety that it wont be good, not coming up with any ideas, or hitting a point where you don't love what you're doing anymore. 

All of these things, in my opinion, are avoidable, and none of these reasons are good enough to stop making work. Not even the money aspect (although that's a whole different animal and probably two or three posts). There are ways to head them off. As someone who's experienced trauma and mental illness, and as a result a lot of therapy, I can see these things happening before they happen. And I know how to prevent them for me, for you it might be different. 

However, I often see the signs and ignore them until I'm in a full on tantrum at three in the morning in the photography studio because I don't know where to go next. It's not pretty, it's not my personality typically, and it's plain old immature. 

So how do I fix it? I know if I did the following list (oh god, she's going to give us a list) consistenly I would not run into the problem as often. It still would happen, no one can "cure" artists block, but I'm positive it would happen less often.

  • Make something visual every day (even if it is bad and you throw it out)
  • Read books about art, by artists, by art historians (yes, even art historians)
  • write all of your thoughts down (maybe not all of them, but any one that could maybe have the small possibility of being an idea.)
  • Don't compare yourself to the volume of work other artists are making (they have a different workflow than you do for a reason I promise)
  • Have a core group of fellow artists who can critique and discuss your work even if their medium is not the same.
  • Make something for fun every now and then. If you take yourself too seriously having fun is hard.

So that is my list, the way that I can guarantee I will be consistently creating and eventually maybe consistently creating something good. If I followed it, and usually I don't. So maybe one of my post life affirmation at FR I will make that a goal.