Friday, April 1, 2011
A is for Art.
So, at the 11th hour, i signed on to be a part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge, which begins today. i first got wind of this through my very good friend Barb, who is also taking part. i've needed to give my blog a little more attention anyway, and this is as good a means as any. Here's to hoping i can find the time to keep up with this, but i hate to not follow through on a commitment, so, yeah. Motivation.
And we begin, ofcourse with A. i think we all see where this is going. It's the reason i started this blog, it's the thing i feel a deep, unexplainable passion for. Some days, it's the light in the dark, and the thing that fills the void, the hole that empties and must always be refilled.
i've been making art since i was little, just like everyone. As children, we may not have even indentified it as art; we just did it because we enjoyed it, it felt good. If mom wanted to put it on the fridge, great, a little validation is nice. But we did it regardless. And we didn't stress over whether it was "good enough" or not. We also didn't question if we could draw a tree or a dog - ofcourse we could! We could hold a pencil, right? And we knew what trees and dogs looked like, so, that's all we needed to produce a drawing.
But at some point, someone probably said it wasn't any good, so we put it aside for the more practical things in life. Let's all hurry to get on the wheel! Get up, shower, breakfast, go to work, take a lunch break, back to work, go home, eat dinner, watch tv, go to bed, rinse, repeat. Well, i didn't set it aside, and i never was any good at running the wheel. i stumbled often and fell off into the bedding...and then i went to sleep. Oh sure, there was a time art wasn't in the forefront as much as it is now, but i always enjoyed making things, creating something beautiful out of scraps of paper and paints, and i always had creative ideas for projects, usually several at once.
i don't care one little bit if anyone thinks my art is good or not, well, let me rephrase that. It feels great when something i make cheers someone, or brightens their day, or possibly makes them think. But, even if no one ever liked a single thing i made, i'd still be making art. i have to. i have no choice. It's in there too deep, has its hooks in and is not ever letting go. It defines me, in many ways. i used to write, a lot, but not so much anymore. i have a harder time these days finding the words to convey my meaning, but with art, it flows. i can say so much more in that medium than with words, and it's because the things i really want to say don't have any words. They are feelings, they are things to do with magic.
Like every human alive on this planet, the universe has thrown some challenges my way over the years. We all have setbacks or tragedies come our way, and we all struggle with something. For me, the one thread weaving its way through the good and bad times, through every part of my life, is depression. i've had that nasty monkey on my back since i was 13. Only once did i try medication, and that didn't last long. Mostly, i just tried to manage it on my own. It improved when my son was born, though sometimes it would still pop up at my doorstep, reminding me, "Hey, i haven't gone away. You know one misstep, one or two really bad days in a row, and i'll have a hold on you again." Then one day, after art had become a more dominant part of my life, i realized that i actually felt good, really good, content even. i paid attention and found that if i didn't create something (even a garden, or a well-made meal can be art) on a regular basis, i was more irritable and unhappy. i realized art was not only a fun way to express myself, it was also a form of therapy. i can now live a happy, full life, with depression, and without medication, thanks to art. Plus, i get to tell my story. Everyone has a story, and it deserves to be heard. We are all kicking around on this rock, trying to find our place, and the least we can do is share our visions of this world and each other with each other.
i ask that you not be afraid. If you want to make art, make it. Don't let anyone stop you. And even if you think your skills are lacking, just enjoy the process. The cool thing is, the more you do it, the "better" you get. You will find your style, your voice, because you can't not find it. It's yours, it's unique to you, and it's in there, just waiting to be heard. So, tell your story, because no one else could truly tell it but you.