Feeling trapped is not at all a unique artist experience. Most artists will feel a crossroads in how they create, or what they create, or why they create. But that feeling manifests within each of us differently, at different times, and produces different mindscapes that cry to be closed up or scream to be freed. I have always been a confident artist. I have always valued that aspect of any person, when they could create art and believe in it and do so without letting opinions barge in. And while that has not changed in me, my desire to create has.
I find myself looking at the new works I create with a certain dissatisfaction. There is a voice calling to me, and it is mine from the future. She tells me to follow her, confidently, as I have always done, even though the path looks different and I cannot see my way. This is true of all artists. When we find our calling we must answer it, no matter how frightening it appears. The moment we stop following what our heart says is true, we create works that speak lies about our character and souls.
The only piece of me that is nervous about moving forward is the part that loves the certainty of what I already do. It is the voice that tells me I will lose what I have built; that no one will care if I create something different; that no one will notice. But that part of me is what I have never loved. It is an entity unto itself, that I choose to quiet instead of feed, and that we all must reconcile. When I see myself as many people in one body, it is easy to pick out the ones that would feed me waste. I choose to nourish.
I have new ideas and new plans and new goals. I cannot see past the beginning because it is a direction I have never gone in before. I cannot say if my new works will look drastically different or largely the same. I cannot say if they will be “good” or “bad”, but those questions lead to death. What the scared girl inside of me means to say is that I do not know if they will be well-received or not, if I will love them, or not. But the adventurous soul in me does not care about opinions, my own or others. It wants to jump in head first. It wants to scare me. It wants me to be free from the shackles of doubt.
And so I follow her with one eye open, walking into the unknown that art always should be, as I plan a new series of images to nourish the soul. As the new year begins I will be sharing my process of this more elaborate new work that I will be creating. I rented my first studio space to build in. I want to be messy and to make messes and to see where that leads. I want to share with you my process and my doubts and the scary confusion that comes with doing something different. I will be creating calls to action, so that we may work on something new together, and support one another along the way.
I created this image recently in my desire to show the duality that each of us possesses. The GOOD and the BAD, though nothing can ever be reduced to such a triviality. It is the YES and the NO, the QUIET and the QUIETER. It is the one that wants to speak but is SILENCED, and the one that SILENCES. It is what we all face within.
I hope you will feel open enough to share with me any artistic struggle you might be facing. After all, ’tis the season for change, and therefore doubts and adventures. And we are never in that struggle alone.