Getting over myself.

I take myself too seriously. I worry too much about the work I make. And, in the end, it is extremely detrimental to the art I attempt to create. Having successfully distracted myself from creating visual art for the last 4 or 5 months while making upcycled clothing and purses I have had a hard time trying to “get back in the studio” as they say. It is not as though I don’t consider the community art projects I have been organizing and participating in and the new upcycled path I have been taking is not art making. It’s just a different type of art making. It does not fulfill a certain part of me that I can’t really define for you. Vague, I know, but honest.

So, for the last month or so I have been standing in my studio staring at an empty table with nothing to say and nothing to make. I was scared and am still scared that I don’t have anything meaningful left to contribute. What I find most interesting about my struggle with my own art making is that the artwork that made me want to be an artist is the same artwork I am afraid to create. I consider myself a conceptual artist and want my viewers to walk away from my work with a certain thought, idea, emotion, or message. The main goal is to shake people out of their own reality for just a second. Slap them across the face visually to see what happens. But, the work that influences me and gives me butterflies is not labeled conceptual art.

I would argue that all art is conceptual because all artists think about what they are going to make before they make. Even if they are not thinking at the time they are creating. But, that is a whole other topic.

What I am trying to communicate is that I love work that looks awesome, that’s beautiful. A painting of a woman walking across a plaza. A photograph of a store window. Art that captures everyday moments in time so that they can be truly appreciated. Although this artwork is fulfilling for me, the viewer, it does not seem to be fulfilling for me, the artist. Seems pretty silly to me. As usual, my concept about art is being challenged by me.

As far as I still have to go as an artist I have made one step forward today. I actually made a print. It was inspired by a photograph I took in San Francisco this week.

a linocut block print in black and white of a abstracted cherry blossom tree

detail shot of a linocut block print in black and white of a abstracted cherry blossom tree

It’s a start!


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