The "Real" Work; A "Real"-lease
I've been pretty vocal lately about feeling the pressure of marketing on social media. The continuous "need" to virtually scream, "Here I Am!" Here's My Art!" "This is the Art I made!" "This is the Art I am GOING TO MAKE!" "This is the "support" I need to MAKE that happen!" has been making me more than just a little bonkers.

I don't think I can blame it all on the recent Mercurial shifts in the Universe.

Last night, I finally vented in the Fresh Rag Creative Bad Ass Challenge (Dave Conrey) about how stuck I am in this angst. A fellow participant wisdomously shared a GREAT REMINDER.

Make the art. "Start the day doing something creative." A few simple words that I KNOW for a fact are true but sometimes a challenge to actually JUST DO.

Why?

Well, since you asked, because after-all-this-time (20+yrs)-identifying-myself-as-an-artist my brain still retains that carved-deep mantra, "Do Your Real Work First,THEN, you can play in the paint (paper, clay, darkroom-insert ...other creative media here)."

and POOF! Epiphenette!

Right now, for me, the REAL WORK seems to be allowing myself, granting myself, reminding myself that I ALREADY GAVE MYSELF PERMISSION (because I, apparently, still think I need it) to MAKE the frikin' ART!

Every day, I am inspired to make something. EVERY DAY! The creative ideas blessedly pop into my head on a daily basis. And then, I put them on the back burner because there is something "more important, more valid, more marketable (for ME, the worst reason), more valuable to humanity, MORE than my itty-bitty-art project" that MUST be done FIRST.

Well at this point, there are so many things on my back burner you could probably build a monument- to- the- art- that- wasn't from the top of my stove to the sky! Hence, my angst. An angst which, as anyone who knows me can attest; does NOT originate in the fact that my stove (figurative or otherwise) is too crowded to use it to cook (wink-wink).

So, on the advice sincerely given, I woke up today determined to create. I fought the nagging, "check the e-mail" "get a reference image" "post your progress/plans/intentions" "find out if anyone wants to buy anything" "tell people what you're making/selling/promoting" voices chanting in my head and I DID something creative FIRST!

If you are still reading this, maybe you actually want to know what I decided to do... 

The other day my Grandson started collecting rocks from my yard/garden. As he filled a plastic tub with water, he explained that he needed to clean them because he had to paint some things on them for his Dad (my son). Of course, I okayed this process and gave him a scrub brush as I went on doing my Real Chores. Part way through he said, "Grandma, you can do that later, you NEED to find some rocks to paint, too."

With that bit of five-year-old wisdom on my side, I put down my Real Chores Junk, and went in search of Rocks. The first one I found was sitting in my Grandson's Strawberry Patch. (We transplanted some wild ones last year that have spread like crazy! ...and, he is anxiously waiting for the white blossoms to become strawberries.) Anyway, the stone I found was hollering, "I AM a giant strawberry!"

Awesome Grandson agreed that it absolutely needed to become one. We put it in the bin and scrubbed away at it. I managed to find four rocks. He discovered 17 just teeming with potential. As too often happens, this idea (mine, not his) was stacked on top of that back-burner pile. Because, I am doing the REAL LIVE Art Sale out front this week.

Opening day, the mini monsoon hit. I forgave people for not stopping to come inside to browse my art lovingly protected from the elements. Day 2...I started feeling icky things toward the Mercurial happenings that had manifested the monsoon on my art sale. Day 3-SUN! glorious sun...and lots of wind. Day 4...SUN all day. People passed by, nobody stopped, browsed, or purchased. I continued going through the motions, making marketable art as I hovered over my sale items and displays. (Not even going to get into the continued explanations to others around me about WHY I wanted/needed to sell/RELEASE! the art I had made.This post is too long already.)

The strawberry was toppling that pile on the back-burner as I went back on-line to think of other ways to let people respectfully and enticingly know, just-in-case-they-missed-the-last-seven-posts, "Hey, I AM having an Art Sale."

Yesterday, the angst won and I was ready to just throw it all out. The thought of putting all of these Things back in boxes and storing them for yet another winter just seemed completely unacceptable.

[BTW:The downside of having creative ideas every day... after you create the stuff if it Fails to Launch and you can't Release it; Where the Heck do you put it all???]

I am sure it doesn't help that SOME of the creations are loaded with angst and baggage that I TRULY just need to RELEASE to somebody who doesn't associate it with the same experiences and can give it new life and new purpose. I no longer want to re-visit some of those places.

AT zero-dark-thirty last night I decided, with a liberating sense of purpose, that if those particular pieces don't go out into the world; I AM PAINTING OVER THEM. And, I exhaled. Whew!

So, (brownie points for you if you are actually still here) here is my Almost-A-Strawberry stone transformation along with some, "Oh how happy this RED feels!" other things that I will Release to you all when they are done. Although I have created a couple of paintings on stone; this isn't the sort of thing I usually make. Following the guidance of Dave's Day 7 Challenge I did something new and just got messy.

A SPECIAL THANKS goes out to the fellow Creative Badass who provided me with this awesome RESET! This post is just the tip of the iceberg on how much I needed THAT!  The link to Dave's Creative BadAss Challenge will be  in the comments below because we can't post links and photos in the same post (yet).

~May each of you find clarity in your own Real Work today!






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