work

Fighting off the Darkness

Every morning I wake up and say to the darkness: "Not today, you can't have me today." But I feel the anxiety and depression lurking around the corner all the time. These are emotions that have completely mentally crippled me and almost destroyed me a handful of times. They are as much a part of me as my brown hair and brown eyes at this point in my life. It is something that I have to actively combat. Vacation should help but it mostly stresses me out as I anticipate everything that could go wrong. But I do eventually start to relax and feel less anxious and have a good time. Now I am pretty relaxed and hopeful as we head home, I just need to work hard to maintain this feeling and keep the darkness at bay.

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Printing Again! Art Studio Share.

Quicky collagraph of a little house in red and yellow. Concept to print in under a day. Collagraphs are about as instant gratification one can get in the printmaking world. Now I need to give them about a week to dry before I can draw on them without smudging the ink. Good thing I set up a handy drying rack string using some twine and binder clips. Totally out of the way of my work so they can hang there indefinitely. In the meantime I am working on another couple of cardboard collagraph plates to print this week. My art studio is my happy space.

Six prints drying in my art studio.

Six prints drying in my art studio.

The lies we tell ourselves and the truth that's even scarier.

Ten frightening lies that mask the truth that I am scared of failure and I often use that as an excuse to not act. Too bad that doesn't work. I keep this carefully hand lettered list posted in my art studio so I can confront it every day while I am working instead of merely listen to the whispers in my head. It is still hard, but I have reasons to keep going and I will never succeed if I don't try. Maybe someday I will start crossing off the items, or tear up the list or burn it. But for now it sits taped up by my desk next to a more encouraging list. Together they help keep me striving and pushing through the stalls that happen all the time.

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Thanks Ira! I will keep going and work hard every day.

Keep going. Over and over again. Thanks Ira Glass for the stellar advice and encouragement. A week into the hard focused work and it is already paying off. Of course I already knew this from my own life experience and from books I have read like The Artist's Way and The War of Art. It is so obvious that even my little kids do it. They are always working hard and practicing every skill that they know new and old over and over again. I leave out a scrap of paper and my eldest writes and draws all over it. She can't help herself. But adult me still forget and needs a fresh reminder from time to time. Now I am finding ideas that I didn't have two weeks ago are suddenly coming out of apparent thin air. I can feel my brain working better. Sticking to my Core Hours and working is begetting more energy and more ideas to work with. Planning ahead for summer and fall.

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