Sunday, July 15, 2012

I am afraid of NOT living up to the sterotypical artist.

Right now, at this late hour of the night, I lie awake while thinking about my fears and what is holding me back. Most importantly, what is holding me back artistically?

It is one o'clock in the morning.

If I were still in art school, I would be knee deep in charcoal or metal shavings, with no sign of stopping.  I am an artist. I want to be an artist. I want to be so much more than I am right now.

Of course there are the obvious reasons I am not advancing in my actual body of work, for example, I am broke and I do not have the means for a studio. So what am I doing instead? I am making beerings and painting/designing greeting cards. Where as I am, in fact, being artistic and using my talents for something, I am just not sure I am confident in it actually being art, instead of just being crafty.

I believe I am scared that by making my beerings, that I am not doing my degree justice. I am falsely representing my fellow metalsmiths by making these cold connected, production line earrings. I do not think my friends know what I am actually capable of making and that hurts my feelings. Yet, it is my own doing. I am not making what I could  be making. I think I have all these grandiose ideas and then they never become anything but ideas.

I want to preface these next words carefully because I know I am talented, but I feel as though I have let a part of myself down. I feel like I let a piece of you all down. I know I was never, am never and will never be a stereotypical artist, however, a piece of me really wants to be. For example, I rarely drink coffee. I am not a tortured soul. I have a very active social life outside of the artist community. I do shave my legs/armpits and bathe regularly. I eat organic, but only because I was raised that way. I like to dress in current fashions.  I am happy with my life. I believe in Jesus Christ Our Lord and He is my savior. I like to take care of my body and I do not smoke anything. I do not starve myself because I am so focused on making my art. PBR is disgusting (not to mention I cannot drink it because of Celiacs). I want to work out. I love pop music AND country. End of Story. I am sure, given more time, I could think of at least one hundred other facts that would label me even more of an outsider in the artist community, but for now, this will have to do.

In undergrad, there was a few of us who branded ourselves, art school outcasts. We just never fit in with the others. Of course we got a long with them, because they were all wonderful people, however, we were not on their list of invites.  Looking back, I think that might be a good thing. Or, maybe not. Whichever way it was, I do not wish it different.

I guess I am afraid of not living up to the stereotypical artist. I am afraid that my passion will soon be doused in a vat of water, drowned, because I am too worried about trying to stand up on my own two feet and support myself. I know there is nothing wrong with that, yet part of me wants to throw everything away that I have worked so hard to become and move to a place where all I can do is make things. It is quite a fantasy land, this I know. A place where I have unlimited supplies and I do not have to worry about money or paying the bills or keeping up with people or caring so much. I would like to divulge into myself and become selfish and not have a care in the world. I know I would be absolutely miserable with out human interaction, but sometimes, just sometimes...

Is it wrong to think this way? I have given so much of myself to so many things and in return, I would like just ONE thing. Sometimes, I do not want many things that I am good at, I want just one thing I am great at. I would like more of a focus in life. I would like to not be so self conscious and  insecure that I am not up to par. I guess that is how we all feel sometimes, but in the end, we go with the flow, we continue on our journey and do not look back. We cannot focus on what we could have done differently, we must focus on what we can change so that we do not disappoint ourselves in the future.

I must stop. I am digging myself into a hole and I need to quit feeling so sorry for myself, there are far greater people who are worse off than I. Please take this as you must and until next time...

...since you know I never stay in one place for long.

AC out.


  1. Dear Alaina Grace,
    " I would like to beg you dear sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
    -poet Ranier Maria Rilke

  2. Dear Alaina Grace,
    "Over time, the often-repeated cycle of desire aroused, hope disappointed, and soul deadoned through despair leads to a hatred of desire... it is far easier to snuff out desire with a shroud of despair than to live with the ache of deferred desire... Something else must occur-- facing honestly the loss and terror that is even more painful than the despair."
    -Alexander and Longman

    you are honestly facing your situation, and thats a very brave thing to do.

  3. Dear Alaina Grace,
    "You know what we are afraid of is not so much our limitations but the infinite within us."
    -Nelson Mandela

    and you're facing an age old problem, don't feel alone in your struggle.

  4. Dear Alaina Grace,
    "The entire process (of self development) can be very exciting and entertaining. But the problem is there's no end to it. The fantasy is that if one works hard enough to learn new things and grows enough and gets actualized, one will be there. None of us is quite certain exactly where there is, but it obviously has something to do with resting."
    -Gerald May

    Don't try to force things, somethings take time. Just keep making, and doing what you can, even if it doesnt feel like enough. There is no enough. That's a lie someone once told us a long time ago. There is only today. You're doing great.

  5. Dear Alaina Grace,
    "When a person is evoked for who she is, not who she is not, the most often result will be the inner healing of the heart through the touch of affirmation."
    -Brennan Manning

    Celebrate what you are doing and grow and rejoice. You don't need to worry about who you are not. Think of all you've accomplished, not with guilt, but with a sense of beauty and pride.

  6. Dear Alaina Grace,
    "If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a sweet fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your succcess. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause to momentarily bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little stardust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched. "
    -Henry David Thoreau

    Also remember, school trained us to be art minions, but your life is so much more than the work you make. It is deeply connected to the earth and to the people around you. Your words, your love, your actions toward others. These are the things that define you. But remember, no matter how manic or outcasted or whatever negative thought tries to worm into your ear, that you are incredibly valuable and that value cannot be taken away or deserved. There is nothing you can or can't do to earn it or escape it. It is just something you are because you are creation.

  7. P.s.
    "Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted."
    -John Lennon.

    Make sure there's plenty of room for fun.