Wondering where I have been and what I have been up to?
Here’s a bit of a run-down…
1 – Hosted my first urban sketcher’s event (our fearless leader was out of town) at Bitty and Beau’s Coffee. It was a bit nerve wracking for me at first, but I enjoyed hosting so much, I would love to do it again! Ps. Did I mention how great our Wilmington Chapter of Urban Sketchers is?
2 – Taught my 3rd art class at Seaglass Monthly Market – this one was basically an intro to mixed media – we did a cool mixed media piece in blues and greens with a butterfly as the focal point.
Did I mention that this month happens to be Donate Life awareness month and their colors are blue and green? Head on over to Seaglass Monthly Market’s Facebook page to get raffle tickets to win my original mixed media demo piece!
And this all leads into what I really wanna talk about – the pressures and unreal expectations we artists sometimes put on ourselves.
Yep, a lot of artists are self-employed. We do get to make our schedules, be our own bosses. It may look amazing, laid back, and even glamorous to many people.
What people do not see are the deadlines, shows we are trying to get into, pieces we hate – causing us to scrap the old and completely start over – the fact it takes us more than just a hour to make a piece – sometimes days, even months. They don’t see the unreasonable pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect, to paint the perfect piece.
At the beginning of this year, I made a new business plan for TGA. I listed goals, ideas, and wants. I wanted to try to get into every show I could to really get my art out there. I literally laid in bed every night listing deadlines in my head, what I needed to paint for each thing, pricing, blah, blah, blah – you know, sending yourself down that rabbit hole.
In spring, seems like it’s one show on top of another – its just the nature of the art beast. I wanted to do two pieces for the WAA Spring Art Show and Sale – didn’t happen like that. Life happens, and I was only able to paint one – so of course, I beat myself up about it, compared myself to others who had created two. Instead of celebrating that my piece actually got juried into the show, I berated myself. Then came another deadline I didn’t meet for a sunflower piece for a gallery – another self-beating cause I really wanted to get into that show. In between those, I was prepping for my 3rd art class, being a care giver, dealing with my depression and its side-kick, anxiety.
Which brings me to today – the State of the Art deadline – and I am working on a piece up til the last minute. I had hoped to have had it done yesterday, but I had to leave the studio because I had a migraine come on – thanks to the storm system that rolled through. I am beating myself up now over the fact I had a migraine and couldn’t tough it out to get the piece done. I could have used an old piece, but I didn’t have one that represented me now really. I wanted a piece that meant something to me hanging for all to see.
I share these things because typing it out and seeing it here makes me realize how much stress I place on myself to do all things, get in all the shows, to kick out the most perfect paintings everytime in a short amount of time. That is completely unrealistic, but here I am, expecting that of myself.
I am want to teach myself that sometimes I am not going to be able to do all the things, and that is okay. It should be okay. But a lot of artists, especially myself, place very high expectations on ourselves. Most of us are perfectionists. I know I am. And it really causes me to stress tf out unnecessarily. I am trying to get out of that mindset, trying to let go of comparisons, as well!
Right now, I am sipping my second cup of coffee cause I know it’s going to be a long day in the studio. Once I am done painting, I will be framing. Then comes standing in the line at the CAM to get my piece submitted.
I really AM grateful I get to do this full time, I don’t want you to think otherwise. But, I wanted you to get a little glimpse behind the canvas into the world and sometimes crazy mind of the artist. (I always think of the meme of having a hundred tabs open in my mind 24/7)
Quit putting such unrealistic expectations on yourself. Quit beating yourself up over a missed deadline. Quit comparing yourself to other artists. Your creative journey is your own, not theirs. And we are only human, not Superman or Wonder Woman.
I hope someone else can relate to this, and take this to heart.
Thanks for tuning into these crazy ramblings called Terry-toons!
Ps. I need to practice what I preach, huh?