I have been painting and drawing off and on since college, but I have to admit I felt lost all the time while doing it. Lately I have been back at it and it is the first time people are buying a lot of my art. This is also the first time in a long time that I am really enjoying myself while painting.
I have such a funny relationship with creating art. Almost my entire life I was making art on my ADHD medication and it was always kind of a hot mess looking back at it all. I always look back at stuff and hate it. Maybe some of it was good but it is so hard to tell sometimes because after all, we are our worst critics. I was talking with my therapist about it and she made a great point. A lot of the time being in a school and making art is way different than just making something on your own circumstances. The school I went to was heavy in conceptual art. Everything had a theme or had to be thought provoking. It is funny to say art has to be thought provoking when obviously all visual pieces of work trigger some sort of thoughts upon viewing it but I was creating under someone else’s terms a lot of the time.
If you read my first blog, I talked about a past mentor that denied me a recommendation letter two weeks before I was about to apply to all these graduate schools. I said how I felt she was right. I just wanted to point out that I now feel more than ever it was true. I had to fall back in love with creating something without an outside drive. Now, I don’t think i am applying to a graduate program any time soon but imagine the person I would have become if I just threw myself into it.
I fell back in love with creating visual art this year because I truly feel happy making it in my new brain. In the last few years of creating stuff and then painting over things I couldn’t sell or showcase and repainting new work on top I realized I clumped all my creativity into this rough part of my life. Creating visual work felt nutty at times after school. I would always try to make these thought provoking vaginas and this depressed narrative of my past. I was hung up on the “what if” of it all. I felt like my art had to change the world all the time. I never once thought to make pieces that people just felt good looking at. I always loved painting in colors and organic shapes mixed with poppy stylized crap that we use to express ourselves in texts or handwritten letters.
I am doing better aside from the world going crazy. I am doing better at channeling my energy and focusing it into creative outlets like telling jokes, painting and writing. I can leave my humor on the stage for the most part. When I am painting and drawing I am releasing all my worries and stress into fast quick strokes. My paintings and drawings don’t have to be anything for anyone either. They are mine so I do have a say in what they look like. This time around I felt the creative bug hit me and I logged onto Facebook and asked people for a bunch of photos of pets. I was shocked at how bad people are at photographing their pets, HA! But I found my friend’s cat yawning to have a ton of personality.
I whipped up the painting you see above in a night and it felt awesome. It felt naughty almost cause for once I was beaming with a confidence I have not had in a while when it comes to art making. I posted it and said in a nutshell, “THIS is the style I am working in, if you would like something similar then get at me.”
I gave myself power over people that would commission something from me because they felt bad. They hear I am a painter and all the wrong lights go off in their heads. A lot of people just commission stuff without an idea of what they want or they have never seen an artist’s portfolio and think they are going to get some completely different type of portrait. Saying it is my new style let people know, you either get something fully up to my wild mind or you go find someone else. People dug it, I even got DM’s and friends and coworkers walking up to me to tell me so. This never happened and it lit some fire under my ass for once.
Life will keep throwing anxieties and fears at you. You have to work through them just keeping moving forward. Pain and fear can be a power that hits you and runs through your body looking for a place to release and if you don’t get it out it festers. I feel like I finally learned to get it all out. I get it out laughing and creating things for people that are filled with emotion. I feel like it really shows with the raging explosions of chaos and colors in my art. My brain likes to keep moving forward and I now don’t fear leaning into the struggles that surround me each day. ADHD brains are a lot like a fussy kid. You have to find anything and everything to keep them interested but if you find the right outlet they are all about it. We work best with a vast support system and appreciation. These are the hardest parts to hold onto for myself but I am ready to keep working at it. I am not sorry at all to be so passionate. It is who I am dammit. I am lucky to be pursuing all the creative outlets I have right now. I just have to be aggressive and strong.
Thanks for reading!