hawthorneox: (LiraStars)
"If you do no jump, I will push you."

Or in other words, how I fell ass-first into realizing what I'm doing is scary as shit.

A few months ago, there started a trickling into the back of my head. It felt like things were settling IN; the kind of feeling you get when things start looking like they're making sense. I can't relay the exact feelings, however, because they're all been said before.

"Do your work. Make something cool every day. Work on a project a little bit at a time, and eventually it'll get done. Make outlines and charts for yourself. Set goals. Break the goals down into steps. Put one foot in front of the other. Keep walking."

I've been doing those things, off an on... for a while now. The trick, though, was the "Off" times.. I had a full-paying job. Be it Kinko's, or mall jobs, or just.. in between work. I would SAY art was my priority, but in reality? It was just something I did on the side to keep myself from exploding. I never understood the "Art is Work" mentality of all the other artists seemed to have.

I understood the philosophy behind it. That's why figuring out what it meant was so weird; it was just all of these words I'd heard dozens of times before, but now they MEANT something. Something different, yet stayed completely the same.

I started floundering then. I couldn't quite make heads or tails of how it applied to me just yet, but I could feel the shift. The slow dawning of realization, as if you were right on the edge of a tall cliff and only just realizing exactly how far down the ground is.

But, true to form, Life decided my priorities needed a few more kinks for me to work on. December and January have brought me to my knees, financially and mentally. Financially because, well, working 5 hours per week isn't enough to live on (much less enough to make rent/food/gas/bills) and mentally... well. Because reasons.

These reasons specifically. Among others. Okay a lot of reasons, but we're working on these right now because ahahahahahahaha we don't have time for all of my issues.

Anyway. There's a local deli near my work. Next shopping center over (though used to be right next to, before work moved). Opens early enough for me to grab food after work (while waiting for rush hour to die off) and the owner/manager and waitstaff are REALLY friendly. They treat you like family from the very first visit and wow, their food is amazing. I got to talking with the owner, since he's usually around early in the mornings, and he's been doing little stuff for me. They have a business card rack and normally it's a 5$ per month fee, but he's letting me have a space on it for free. Around the end of December, he offered me half of the wall to display my work. I was floor, but immediately accepted, because wow. My art. Up on display. For sale.

January was a storm of depression, freezing temps, and self-doubt. I was trying to wrap my head around what words meant, while getting pressured by Real World things (like health insurance, W2/taxes, car problems). It wasn't until the final week that I realized.. I needed art. And frames.

I've been a nervous wreck since the 31st. Barely have eaten anything, sleeping at weird hours (work didn’t help any of this), stressed beyond my normal stress-modes (and I have a lot of them, mind - also a fantastically horrendous checks and balance system to keep them at bay), and while I haven’t had any PHYSICAL reactions.. the nausea hasn’t been helping much.

Hung up eight or nine pictures today, at a local deli. The wall looks awfully bare, because I work in weird sizes, and apparently TINY sizes… so the wall isn’t near as full as the other person’s.

I’ve been feeling a range of emotions during all this. Mostly negative, because January has been hitting me HARD on all fronts, so the usual: embarrassment (because I was supposed to have things hung BY the first, and if you notice, today is the second of February - where the fuck do I get off trying to even PRETEND I’m professional about shit), depression (because wow, what the fuck do I even think I’m doing with presenting THOSE pictures; two of the prints didn’t even turn out because ahahaha no one lets me behind the counter at Kinkos anymore, so I couldn’t fuck with the color settings), anxiety (I literally have no money left for frames, and could barely afford the ones I used; how the fuck am I even paying rent this month?), fear (what if nobody buys them? What if the owner changes his mind about my display set-up and tells me to take my shit and go home? what if I’m charging too much? what if I’m charging too little? what if what if what if?), and something that can only be described as the feeling of my mother being right about everything (how you can’t really sustain yourself on art, how my art is just.. not necessarily mediocre, but I’m not putting enough into it for it to be amazing? how I’m too scatterbrained and not-punctual enough to actually be taken seriously)…

It seriously has me in knots.

I’ve tried analyzing it. That’s what I do when I’m scared, y’know? Take the problem, face it head-on and try to figure out WHY I’m feeling what I’m feeling… Deconstruct it so I can reconstruct a way out. Or whatever.

This. This just feels MASSIVE. I’m scared. Deep down, all the fear/worry/anxiety is just massive. Void is, of course, having a field day… and I can’t really hold myself up yet. Against it all.

The part that I hate the most, however, is below and beyond all of these negative feelings, is the persistent drive that, “I did something.” That’s the part of me that’s gotten me into more situations out of my control that I’d care to recant at this particular point in time… and the one that’s gotten me here.

Success is fucking SCARY AS SHIT. Let nobody tell you otherwise. I just hung an appalling eight pieces, 4 of which I did over the course of about eight collective hours. 2 of which were done in the deep cold and in snowfall. I say appalling because I know I could have done better. I could have done MORE. I could have done different things (and not just ice and landscapes).

The scariest thing, is that I just want to better. I want to keep producing. A comment that the head waitress made got me to thinking about doings stuff in a series. She wanted to know if I did anything in series. I’ve THOUGHT about doing stuff in series before…. I just, never have. Because I never… I don’t know. It never felt like I could do it. Like what I did would be good enough to hang up.

But it is. Well, it is NOW.

And I don’t know how to feel about that. I’m sick because I’ve wasted so much time.. just… slacking off, or doodling, instead of finishing things. My studio site is a sham, because wonder of wonders, when you feel like shit you don’t update that often. I’m going to have people looking at my shit all day, but I don’t have any of them scanned or posted anywhere. My store is a joke and just… It’s crushing. It’s crippling.

And I have absolutely no idea how to handle it.

Normally writing here in LJ, I've already processed most of my emotions and it's more of a, "Here how I was feeling, now here's how I am going to handle this." rather than a raw emotions dump.... but I can't process this. It staggers me to think I actually succeeded in doing something in the real world. Not getting a million hits/comments/likes on a picture I posted, not having people randomly message me on Tumblr going, "Hey I like your stuff.", not anything digital. My art is hanging up in a deli about fifteen minutes up the road.... and probably is in horrendous need of rearranging and new frames...but FUCK.

I'm just numb right now. Never thought I'd get this far, yeah? Like a cat chasing birds, but not actually knowing what to do when they manage to actually catch one.

I know the solution is probably just to pick up my pencil and keep on trucking.... everything is just still so shocky and new and overwhelming, I don't even have any idea where to start.


hawthorneox: (Default)

June 2014


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