Sometimes being an artist is not making art and sometimes it can feel like you don’t want to make art for long periods of time. If you are at all like me as an artist and you don’t feel like making art for long periods of time, you start to freak out and think I’ll never have a new good idea again or maybe I’ll never want to go back into the studio. And then you think oh god how am I going to pay rent this month and am I a total fraud?!
I’m admitting it now — I’m burnt out; I’m stuck in a rut. I think a lot of it has to do with the stress of moving studios like four times in three years or whatever — I’m not really keeping count. Or maybe I’m burnt out because I’ve lived in the same place for almost thirteen years and dust, muck and crap are piling up everywhere. I work really hard, I put a lot of energy into work and I put even more energy into not working and feeling guilty about not working.
Yeah. So that’s it. I’ve taken a step back and I think when I first started to take a step back, I did it unconsciously. I did the thing that gives me massive amounts of joy in life and something you will say oh yeah she’s a little bit weird that one, I obsessively started cleaning my house — like a job — for days on end.
Okay I’d like to digress — here’s a little about me. I LOVE Tetris. It’s my favorite game and I think it is because of my nature of organizing and having everything in it’s perfect space. I go insane when things start piling up around me and drowning me with its clutter and dirt and not being able to fit in that damned box just so.
So, I have a spring cleaning list. It’s a double sided ten page document with every room on it and the cleaning tasks associated with perfectly cleaning every room. Every year, I print a new document out and put dates in the boxes when I have accomplished each task. Every year I think I will finish the whole list and I have never made it yet. However, this year, in my rut and not wanting to work and feeling like my happiness is only hanging by the thread of spending an hour scrubbing the top and hood of my stove, I’ve completed four rooms on my list and only have two more to go. Now, when I walk through the four clean rooms, I feel light and easy, happy and joyful. Isn’t this the state I would want for making art and free and easy creativity?
Huh. Maybe I’m not feeling so guilty after all… I’m off to The Container Store.
Oh and just for fun, I thought I’d attach a picture of my photo assistant, Mirabelle, when she was a kitten in her “buffalo stance” as Chris calls it. A pose she still commandingly stands in at almost two years old now.