Sunday, September 21, 2014

Because this is a blog primarily for other artists, I feel free to admit - it's been a tough month. Well, a tough few months.

A phase where a flurry of creative output has left me feeling completely spent;  the strange coexistence of deep, satisfied tired that is the result of good hard creative work, and the feeling of futile fatigue and an undernourished bank account and soul.

It's the part of the cycle of the professional artist where working at Starbucks sounds heavenly in its repetition, lack of self direction, and guaranteed financial compensation for each hour of work.

Where one feels simultaneously under-supported by society and annoyed at the self-absorption and unrealistic expectation from which this feeling of being under appreciated springs.

But luckily I always seem to remember just in time that, in fact, this is a phase. It's one that comes less frequently the longer I am in this line of work, but it's increasingly less frequent occurrences seem to grow in intensity. I suppose this could be looked at positively - that the deepening intensity of slumps indicate that I have gone further on this path, that more heart and soul is invested.

And I have also learned that these tough phases are important and necessary, that they are nurseries for ever deepening belief in oneself and appreciation for the times when things are flowing - financially, creatively, joyfully. It is trite but true that showers do spring flowers. As artists we are hearty plants indeed, burrowing deeply into the darkness with unrelenting faith of the beauty crystallizing there.

I'm stopping myself here for a second - sometimes I get so tired of my own tirades of the "artist's dilemma." After all, we are profoundly lucky to live a life focused primarily on seeing and creating beauty. But once in a while it's nice to wallow in the reality that it's damn hard sometimes, that the lightness and pleasure that our livelihood appears to be filled with from the outside is not always our experience.

Still, I feel lucky. And stirring with anticipation of seeing this phase from the other side, where I can recognize the beauty that was forming in the mud. That phase is also a certainty.