After a significant hiatus, I am re-embracing my love for creating art. The journey is simultaneously exhilarating and petrifying. Art, in its essence, demands a delicate balance of time, space, and emotional stability to flourish. I've found that periods of stress, anxiety, or sadness can erect seemingly insurmountable barriers between me and my art. However, despite these emotional hurdles, the call to create cannot be silenced.
Coming back to the easel is intimidating - I can't help but feel rusty and fear the inevitable comparison between my current work and the art I produced at the peak of my career. But as I tread this path of rediscovery, I realize the need to decouple my creative process from the judgment of others. I am on my own unique journey and embracing the process, no matter how arduous, is as important as the end result.
Much like returning to the gym after a lengthy break, expectations need to be managed. Initially, it might be disheartening not to match past performances, but it's also a sign of growth. As I progress, I will improve. I may falter, but with each step, my artistic muscle memory will regain its strength. I also understand the pivotal role a positive mindset plays in maintaining my mental health and fueling my artistic pursuits.
For the past decade, my art has been deeply entwined with my career as a digital creator, photographer, and art educator. Any turbulence in my professional life, be it financial mishaps or internal struggles, has left its imprint on my art. What was once my sanctuary became an extension of my professional obligations, no longer an escape but another task on my to-do list.
Now, I'm in a healing phase, endeavoring to disentangle my love for art from the threads of past challenges. Despite feelings of guilt and shame for neglecting my craft, and the fears about my fluctuating mental health, I understand that I am a work in progress. More importantly, I've discovered that my well-being and creativity go hand in hand. Focusing on creating art diverts my attention from aimless consumption and propels me towards production, imparting purpose, joy, and meaning to my life.
Over the years, with the support of many, I've realized my dream of converting a passion into a thriving career and earned a modicum of recognition in the process. I've always admired artists like Bob Dylan who, despite their success, continue to create and evolve. Their resilience and tenacity to persevere, irrespective of public opinion or personal tribulations, inspire me to reclaim my creative voice.
Of course, there are days when negativity threatens to drown me, causing me to retreat, distract myself, and disappear from the creative scene. However, I've also learned that with each ebb comes a flow, a chance to acknowledge my self-neglect and strive towards healing and balance.
Ultimately, my capacity to create art hinges on my mental health, my relationship with myself, my environment, and the people I hold dear. If my life is a garden, then art is a bloom that flourishes only when the soil of my existence is well-tended. My goal is to strike a balance, creating an environment conducive for my art to bloom anew.
Here's to us, continually striving to do our best, nurturing our passion, and embarking on the journey of rediscovery.
Until next time, keep creating.