I feel like Ira Glass wrote this just for me. I have absolutely gotten in my own way and its time I start fighting my way through the frustrating phase. I am happiest when I make art (and I mean art in the broadest way...painting, decorating, anything creative really), and its time I start disciplining myself to do it regularly and push past the tough part.

I wasn't sure if I was going to mention this on my blog, but I recently got a new job. The short version is that I'd been at my old job for a decade, the office culture had gone downhill in recent years, and I'd gone as far as I could go professionally. A few crucial things fell into place and here I am - at a new job that is better for me in every way. Its like it was meant to be. However...I'm still in a job that uses mostly the math side of my brain...this one even more so than the last one. And I'm okay with that. I love being creative but I also love working with numbers and spreadsheets and this kind of work fulfills that need for me.

But I also need to engage the other side of my brain, and with the house projects few and far between these days, it might be time to start making art again. In fact, I'd love it. But this is where I get tripped up by those things Ira is talking about...I'm overly critical of art (I blame all those hours of critiques I sat through in art school), and I'd rather not make art at all if I feel there's a chance it'll be "bad art" (and there's always that chance).

So I'm thinking that its time to get over that. The idea of working at my number-crunching job all day and coming home and making art is wonderful to me. It sure beats the hell out of what I've been doing...work, cook, watch TV. Its so boring. And lonely. And I get nothing from it. When I lay on the couch watching the tube, I don't feel excited or even awake. Its just something to pass the time, and in the long run its my life passing by and that's not good. I know that sounds dramatic, but its true! I don't want to be 80 and think, "I sure am glad I watched all those seasons of American Idol!" (which I quit last year, thank you very much). I know there's a time and a place for TV...its a good way to unwind and it can be fun. My point is that I need to watch less of it and make art instead.

So that's what's going on with me right now. I'm not sure what the next step is. Get a new sketchbook? Those things intimidate the hell out of me. Search around online for a project to do? Oh what I wouldn't give for an art teacher to come over one night a week and give me some awesome project that I never would have thought to do myself. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them. And if you're like me and you get in your own way (whether its about art or anything else!), let's encourage each other to start doing again.


Lollie Lane said...

I really like that..especially the part about your taste being the reason your work disappoints you. I've experienced this with songwriting. Thanks for posting!

Julia said...

love that quote. sketchbooks are intimidating to me too, my husband loves his. i guess its a preference. i think pinterest makes a great "to do" list...i look forward to seeing what projects you pick!