Struggling

This morning I am really struggling. Some days you just do.

I had been feeling pretty confident and accomplished lately, I had a great time at PBI this year. I was awarded a couple of small, local grants to help offset the cost of going to study with India Flint in the Orkneys in November. I have two solo exhibitions coming up in the next couple of months. Thanks to a broken toe I’ve been stuck in the house, so I am getting a lot of new work done. All this is good. But.

In the past week several artists I know have won major grants. These are all great people whose work I admire. I’m really excited for them, really I am. But it has made my accomplishments feel small by comparison. I KNOW comparison is the thief of joy. I know this.

What is really making me sad is seeing how committed they are to their work. Most of them are not hedging their bets with a multitude of day jobs, cobbling together a living, they are all in. Again, by comparison, I feel I am letting my creative self down, I am spread so thin juggling all the plates that pay my bills. I’m feeling stuck and afraid. There are some plates I really want to let smash to the ground, but I’m keeping them spinning, just in case.

All this is I suspect normal background turmoil for creatives. Thank heavens that at least in the studio some great stuff is happening. Here’s some art to cheer this post up

Full moon in Capricorn, rust and black walnut on abaca with hand sewing

Cordage made from daffodil leaves

Summer Solstice, onion dye on abaca with hand sewing

New Moon in Cancer, botanical contact print on kozo with hand sewing

Ill be okay. I have so much to be thankful for. These are first world problems and I’ll get over myself, but these are the fears that eat up our creativity, saying them out loud makes them smaller and easier to handle. If anyone reading wants to share their tactics for handling the creative monsters of fear and comparison please add you thoughts in the comments!

Okay back to work.

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2 thoughts on “Struggling

  1. Hello Deb. I’ll leave a comment because I think I know what you’re going through. Not because I have the solution (I wish…). I’ve been struggling with FEAR and the comparison blues for so long that I simply got fed up with them and with myself. ‘Oh, here it comes again. I know that dry flavour, that churning in the stomach is familiar. I’ll just drop everything and go hide behind a door.’ I got so tired that I somehow developed the ability to waive them away. ‘Get lost or stay around, who cares, you’re nothing but ghosts…’ And in a crazy way, this indifference born out of sheer tiredness helps me go on without falling down the pit. I may need to take a break, do something different or (worst scenario) go wash the dishes. But the ghosts do disappear when they cannot be effective. Apparently, they get frustrated too. Good for me. Does this help? I doubt it but please remember you’re not alone in the cold. Most of us have to fight the windmills of our mind. Love from Spain.

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