Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Surviving, but not Thriving, Thinking but not Doing

Wow, looking at the date of my last post on this blog - April 12 - and looking at my last entry in my UPTO 1825 Journal, were I a teacher I would give myself a big old 'F' on participation, 'F' on creativity and 'F' on effort. And, I would be well deserving.

I originally started THIS blog with the idea that my new path combining cancer, unemployment and disability would open up sooooo many wonderful windows of opportunity for creativity, that I would be so busy becoming the next great thing in art that I would not have TIME to write - I'd be too busy making art and cashing checks.


While the focus of this blog is supposed to be how art impacts and (hopefully) will prolong my life, it dovetails with events that fill the non-art areas of day to day existence; treatment (or lack thereof), trying to pay bills (like everyone else), dealing with kids home from school who expect summer to be about eating food and playing videogames, all the while I WANT, really, really WANT to be in the studio. But the distractions build up and over the past several months I have found it way too easy to succumb to their vices.

Why on EARTH would I rather spend a morning pulling weeds, or trimming roses, or cleaning the garage when I  COULD be in the studio creating art - I don't know.

On the whole I should be EXCITED. A collection of my work has been hanging in a popular coffee shop in Findlay, Ohio for the past month, through the donation of friends I now have the means to order two sets of mugs with my cancer related designs on them to sell, I have the TIME to create more work, yet I find myself stuck. I don't know by what; fear, panic, guilt, laziness, creative block, etc. I just can't seem to figure out what it will take to get me going.

I have visions in my mind of artists in movies, who roll out of bed in the morning, light up a cigarette, take a shot of espresso, have a croissant on the veranda, then wander out to their studio, filled with various projects in various stages of completion, and simply put on their smock and beret, pick up their brushes and 'VOILA' gallery ready masterpieces.

The only tool in this vision that I seem to have is the ability to have espresso! I don't smoke, I don't have a smock or a beret, neither do I have a wealthy patron awaiting my next master piece. I think part of this mental-spiritual-creative wallowing has to do with being on disability for cancer and simply having a live that is lived day to day with no real plan - again - planning is usually something I do well, but EXECUTING the plan is not my strong suit.

Maybe what I need is a personal assistant to taze me into activity and to keep me on some kind of schedule. I mean, hell, it isn't like I don't have enough to do - artistically and domestically - that I could easily fill an eight or ten hour day. It just seems that self-motivation is much harder than one would think.

I reflect on those with 'traditional job's who are driven to be AT work ON TIME and to BE PRODUCTIVE, or else! Their motivation is seemingly automatic - at least from my perspective. I am not saying that their motivation is gleeful or that they even WANT to get up and go to work and do the things required, it is just that, in my opinion, we get so USED to this system of RISE, WORK, GO HOME, GO TO BED, RISE that it is difficult (at least for me) to be my own master to be my own boss, to kick my own ass into gear (as it were). I mean no one is chomping at the bit to see my next piece, no one has a pre-paid blank spot on their wall waiting the next 'Scott Lightfoot' piece to make it complete.

So, where do I stand at this juncture in my venture as an artist with the always desired free-time that is now available and not the guts to DO anything with it. Maybe it is time to look into finding some intern-some external cattle prod wielding person to keep me on track and to get me back to work. Or, maybe I am just over reacting??

Is 'the destination' really not as important as 'the journey'? Should I be focused more on DOING SOMETHING each day than how many pieces I can complete in a given time? I mean in the back of my head (sometimes in the front) is the simple knowledge that due to the stupid cancer my time really IS limited and that maybe part of me is upset with myself for wracking up more 'time-wasted-days' than 'time-doing-days'. Maybe that part of me is worried that I will start something and not be able to finish the piece, so the longer I DELAY starting anything new, the longer I will some how live....

Phew, maybe, just maybe, I overanalyze myself and just need to step away from the computer, forget schedules, start each day creating and just see what happens.

If anyone has the answers or knows someone who would make a suitable apprentice (I can't pay much beyond good coffee and stale conversation), let me know and I will gladly allow them to help me, maybe along the way something good may actually come from the venture....!!!