Wednesday, 1 November 2017

On being lost and fighting artist's block

Yet another attempt to keep up with having this blog. Well, writing, as well as drawing or any other art is a tricky thing. You need to be in the right mood. You need to struggle a bit. You need to start. That is the hardest thing – the beginning. I didn’t draw for years after I’ve finished art school, I was busy being a lazy and gloomy teenager, getting the degree at philology and English literature, getting married, moving a thousand miles away from my hometown, working the most boring job I can think of, moving again, being a teacher, then falling apart because I didn’t know what to do with my life. I’ve actually been falling apart for nearly three years. All this time once I had a spare moment I took my pencils and dived into my world. I could imagine the most beautiful things in my head but on paper I saw just mere shadows of these images. I was tormented by the contrast between my idea and my handiwork: in each case I had imagined something which I was quite powerless to realise. I was reading about other artists, mostly writers, about their life paths, about their struggles and it calmed me a bit, gave me the feeling I was not the only one who got lost. I don’t know what happened and why, but one day in September I took my pen, sat down to my table, autumn has just begun, the day was warm and I could see the trees and the birds out of my window, and I draw a hand with a candle. It was not perfect in any way but nearly for the first time I felt that it was so close to what I saw in my head.  Somehow it was the first step to my own style, and to giving myself to art forever.

The more I draw now, the more images emerge in my mind, but still it is not an easy task to put them on paper. Sometimes, like today, I am ready to give up because nothing comes out like it should, because I start to think I am bad at everything and I want to crawl back into tiny world of pretending to be someone else, someone who doesn’t want to try anymore, someone who is ready to believe that being an artist is just a hobby, and someone who is lost. I believe this thing is called artist’s block and everyone who creates things experiences this nasty feeling from time to time, so we are all in the same boat. The most vivid image of this I can think of is from the film Secret Window based on Stephen King’s Secret Window, Secret Garden – when Johnny Depp’s character is lying on his couch in old dirty robe, that scene makes me laugh every time I watch it, because the feeling is so familiar. And I embrace it, used to be mad at myself and cry and tear my works to pieces, but now, though it still is disappointing I just let it pass, for nothing can last forever. So, I want to say that creating things is a tough road, but it only takes practice, and practice and more practice. All the time I look at my works I think I am still powerless to embody my ideas, and it is true, I am, and I should try to do better, but it doesn’t happen overnight. All good things take time. And now I am going to pour myself a cup of coffee, lie on my sofa and just let it go and watch something that would cheer me up. And hope that tomorrow I’ll meet my muse again with open arms. 

The source of the image is David Koepp Secret Window (2004)
The cursive is quote from Jane Eyre

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