Thursday, January 2, 2014

Something Old, Something New

Happy New Year!

I've been absent from this blog for a while.  I didn't feel compelled to write until now.  I've been going through some big changes in my life.  If you recall the last thing I actively worked on was my Failure Challenge.  I stopped short of posting 30 posts of things I was actively trying to fail at artistically.  However I wouldn't call that a failure in and of itself.  When I started the Challenge I needed it.  I needed to be held accountable so that I could push through my major emotional boundaries.  Fear led the way.  But I kept going, timidly painting a lemon or a pair of sunglasses.  It may be hard to imagine if you are not an anxious artist but the very act of pushing myself into the unknown caused me to be in a state so nervous I felt physically repulsed.  I had to focus on putting one foot in front of the other as they led me towards a thing I knew I had not drawn before and would not know how.  I think in the end I figured out it wasn't so much the fear of failure that I was trying to beat but the fear of not feeling completely confident in my actions.  There is a certain safety net I put myself in by only pursuing the things I knew the steps to take to achieve it.  When forced into new situations (drawing a boat!) I had no idea what step 1 was and all of a sudden my safety net became my cage.

It sounds slightly ridiculous to be so emotionally and physically disturbed by something that when said aloud sounds so simple.  But these were and are my feelings and therefore are not ridiculous.  They are true facts.

I felt very lost for a long time this year.  In a way I had never felt before.  This whole failure challenge really ended up testing me to my core and I really hadn't expected that.  It turns out that the things I fear about art are the same things I fear about life.  That is a hard one to face.
I spent the later part of 2013 trudging through my feelings, sorting them and facing them.  I grew tremendously but it was incredibly painful.  I am still growing and sometimes I wish it was easier but I know that if it was then there would be no point.

This small silly "30 post Failure Challenge" has irrevocably set me on a new path in life.  It has revealed certain truths to me that have changed the trajectory of where I thought I wanted my life to go.  Looking back I feel I was wandering, grabbing hold of anything that reached out.  This year I am marching down a path I have carved for myself.

So as to what this means for the blog?  When I started this blog it was because I had been laid off for the first time ever.  I was going crazy in my apartment by myself.  Work really defined me at that point and with no work there was no me.  I started the blog so I would have a reason to leave my room every day.  To go and draw.  When people started following this blog I wanted to use it to help inspire people because I knew how lonely it felt to be uninspired.  And then I did it out of habit and it become more for the people who were reading it than for me.  I became bored with it and bored with myself.  During another extended lay off season (yay animation industry!) I decided to tackle my knowledge gap with colour and thats really why I started the failure challenge.  So here we are.  After some major reflection I've decided to keep this blog as a place primarily for my thoughts as a person trying to understand what it means to be an artist.  I will post art from time to time but if you would really like to see my art and not my thoughts I encourage you to follow my tumblr.

2014 will be a very different year for me.  I'd love for you to follow along whether by my blog or my tumblr.