It’s really quite a long time since my Art Foundation course, which was pretty much the last time I painted anything with any serious intention. I lost myself in Mac based design and photography for a long time, but a couple of years ago I realised I was getting increasingly frustrated with this media. I couldn’t figure out what was bothering me until a drunken rant with a colleague who felt the same way. Somewhere through the second china teapot of cocktail (yes, that bar), we realised that what was driving us nuts was doing everything through a screen!! We had grown to hate digital – gasp!
I know, right. I can hear people fainting all over the place right now, cause in my job, this is pretty much on a par to renouncing Jesus.
So anyway, the next day we sobered up and realised that we didn’t actually hate digital, but we just felt stymied by all our creative work being channeled through computers and screens of varying sizes. We felt nostalgic for all those hours spent in the darkroom or the painting studio, throwing colours around instead of sitting in an office getting square eyes and a flat ass.
Quickly I realised the only solution for continued sanity was less work work and more me work. But how? When I got home from the office I was a creative husk and physically repelled by the sight of my Mac. I know there are a bunch of twenty-something hipsters living in Dalston being creative and amazing 24hrs a day but frankly I am old and I just don’t have that kind of energy. The only solution was to get my boss (and my husband*) to agree to me moving to a four day week.
*I don’t often ask my long suffering husband permission to do anything but given that he is paying for this creative ennui I thought it only reasonable…
Anyway, to cut a long story short everyone agreed and here I am with a whole shiny day, every week, all to myself.
At first the thought of drawing and painting again for real was actually quite paralysing. I did the classic fear of failure stalling thing and did nothing with my new freedom but take photos for weeks. Thankfully I gave myself a good talking to one day and got myself down to a life drawing class organised by London Drawing. So that was last January. Since then I’ve become a little bolder, drawing and painting quite regularly and some of it is actually not shit! I’ve also been researching like mad, falling happily down Pinterest rabbit holes of beautiful, intimidatingly good, illustration and abstract art. So much raw talent exists out there it constantly surprises (terrifies) me. How do people get that good? Will I ever be able to produce anything that good? Are these people all just sickeningly talented or do they work for it? Arghhhhhhh…..
All insights gratefully received! In the meantime, here’s one I made earlier.