We learn a lot of stupid things throughout our lives. Some get deeply ingrained in our subconscious, they become beliefs, and these beliefs disguise themselves as “values” which we wave as a flag as a defense mechanism in order to suppress the wishes that we feel go against those values.
Bare with me, I’ll break it down.
I want to devote more time to making things and learning. But in order to do that I need to finance these activities.
I’ve been a long time supporter of everything “indie”. In the 90’s all those indie bands, fanzines and grungy looking musicians who roamed around the world in shitty vans putting up with terrible living conditions in order to preserve the authenticity of their art, were my ultimate objects of cult.
I had a reputation of knowing everything about every indie band, the more obscure the better. I could get bootlegged tapes sent to me from all over the world, I had status as an indie music connoisseur.
Same thing with publications. I am crazy about magazines. I wish I could publish my own one day. I want to find that writer hidden under a rock, a mythical author and make her a part of a selected collection of publications.
In short, the underground pulls me. Feeling “I found” something that nobody else has found, is my ultimate high.
And so, in my younger years I learned to despise the mainstream for no good reason. It was taste, it was snobbery, I don’t know what it was. The problem is that I have become trapped.
When I started to draw in early 2014, I thought I’d do it as a hobby. I was confident I could keep this new interest as something to do, it would not boil over. I had focus, I was going to launch my freelance web design business, I was already knee deep in code, in WordPress, in Jekyll, in HTML and CSS. I already had an obsession with front-end development and it was at times quite difficult to curb.
Then we went to France and I started drawing and painting as much as 8 hours a day and I realized that this is what I wanted to do. But as my love of the underground still ran through my veins, when I started to see how many aspiring and professional artists were doing what I wanted to do, I put a lid on it and thought, I’m just going to keep it as a hobby.
But I can’t stop, and I find myself reading more and more about art, art technique and how to sell your work.
I learned Photoshop and Illustrator at an insane speed. I took several classes, I started studying color theory, I launched a 100 day project with a friend where I would draw 100 imaginary animals.
And I still can’t admit to myself that I want to do this. That I want to create that collection of animals, that I want to illustrate the book by my favorite gloomy author, that I got so excited by learning how to make hand made block patterns that it was the best day of 2014.
I went to my favorite bookshop today. I used to hit the literature section and come out with a pile of books. Today, I spent most of the time crouching by the art section and devouring all those abandoned coffee table books.
I don’t need any more signs do I?
But so many questions I do have.
When do you know when a piece is ready to be shown to the world?
Where do you find someone to give you honest feedback in a world where the slightest advice costs you hundreds of dollars?
How do you scan your work and how to you make sure you are cleaning it up correctly in Photoshop?
Is it allowed to modify your work in Photoshop?
What do I want to ultimately make?
What is my style?
What if I get bored with my style?
How do I stop compulsively looking at other people’s work and feeling like you have three mountains to climb?
But most of all, how do I take the turn into making art that could potentially sell and finance this obsession of mine without feeling strange and treacherous?
And how do I combine it with web development? Do I have to sacrifice one or the other?
From an accidental watercolor class on Skillshare, my whole life has been put into question. All my plans and my focus which had already cost me blood, sweat and tears with web development are going into the back-burner. My husband watches me from afar, how I spend money on classes and books and art materials, how I have to have a scanner NOW, how I can’t sleep because I want to keep drawing and painting and in the deep corners of my mind, I don’t allow myself to dream.