We Beat Ourselves Up!
I wrote this a few weeks ago. I hmm'd and haa'd about whether I should post it or not, but you know what, here it goes! Since I wrote this I have got back into my artwork again and I have been really enjoying it! I am attending the courses that I mention and I am still creating an array of art, not just illustration. So here it goes. I hope you enjoy it and relate in some way. Everything is good with me and I am happy, healthy and more than eager to create more and enjoy myself! Chin up fellow artist! We all have our slow times :D
We Beat Ourselves Up.
I’ve been pretty quiet lately, even more so than normal. I am a naturally quiet person, usually a person of few words, someone who is happy in her own company and an introvert. Although these past few weeks I feel like I’ve been even quieter than normal. It’s no bad things, I enjoy my silence, however, I have developed quite a habit of beating myself up for taking some downtime, some quiet time to myself. I’ve been on the ‘down-low’ for about two weeks now and its not that I have completely shut myself off form the world. I still talk to people and see people and enjoy going places, but it just dawned on me why I have had a little niggle in the back of my head that is more unsettled than normal. It’s because I’ve taken a pause from illustration.
I’ve been suffering from a major case of ‘I can’t be bothered’ with a big blob of artist block so I followed my instincts and took a breather, a re-charge, a lets do whatever I feel like time. Okays, realistically, it started from me getting sick for a number of days and then I just couldn’t spark myself up to do some illustration whenever I got better. I just haven’t been feeling it. Then I started to beat myself up for not drawing, not posting new artwork online, not creating new illustrations, not learning a new computer design skill. But why should I? I don’t feel like it. I haven’t been feeling very inspired so why force myself to create when its impossible to do so if your spirit and emotions aren’t joining in in the creative splurge. I remember seeing a quote, I can’t remember the words exactly, but it dictated the motions of another person shoving a pen into a writers face and demanding them to write. It simply doesn’t work like that. It takes more than just a physical motion and a pen to create a masterpiece.
It seems to be a common artists way of life for us to feel guilty for not working, for not constantly creating or promoting ourselves. We beat ourselves up for not creating everyday. We give ourselves such a hard time for what we ‘haven’t done’. What we told ourselves that we failed at doing. At the end of the day, who ever told us that we HAVE TO create something everyday, that we HAVE TO post pictures on social media to prove it and that we HAVE TO constantly have a new project on the go. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite happy to emerge myself in my art practice for days on end, I love it in-fact, but regardless, I should never feel bad about taking a step back. I need to remind myself to count what I HAVE achieved, not what I haven’t.
Yea, I’ve stopped digital artwork for a couple of weeks but I have been creating in different ways. I have went back to my textile roots for a while. I cut and sewed myself some new clothes, knitted a garme Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. nt, developed an idea for embroidery, researched into courses and workshops I can do, developed more of an interest in photography and I’ve been delving into some film interests that I never allowed myself to fully enjoy (It’s anime if you’re wondering).
So, what I’m trying to say is, we gotta stop beating ourselves up for slowing down, looking after ourselves and taking a breather. Just because we stopped creating one thing doesn’t mean we stopped being creative!
I, for one, know I need a breather sometimes. I need to go explore, travel, see around me and get inspired, go for walks, switch off, be sociable and just enjoy life! Creativity is like a merry-go-round. One small project might get stuck on the artistic merry-go-round, fall off, throw up and have to sit out all the rest of the rides, whereas, the bigger artistic motion is still running, eating candy floss, playing on the bumper cars, screaming on the waltzers and winning on the 2p machines. Basically, just because one small aspect of you is siting one the sidelines doesn’t mean the whole adventure is ruined and no-one is having fun. So, take a step back if you need to, re-charge and enjoy yourself and be prepared to dive headfirst in again when you are ready! You should never feel guilty for looking after yourself and doing what your heart says. Enjoy the rides with the bigger creative picture, the smaller one will be feeling better and will be back joining in on the ride soon.