I think I’ve hit a wall. I was coasting along all happy and motivated, planning my (hopeful) escape route and then I started drawing.
It was not good.
I mean it was fine, really, but I’ve been so out of practice that it made me wonder how I even made it through art school. Now I’m not going to say this to brag, but I will tell you this story just to make a point. When I was applying to colleges here in NY, all the art schools except Parsons had scholarship competitions as part of their admissions process. One school (Cooper Union) had us do a take home exam where you had to complete specific art tasks and then hand them in while the faculty looked over your portfolio. Two schools had us take the art test on location at the school with a bunch of other hopeful bushy-tailed candidates (Pratt, SVA). We had to do things like draw a crumpled up piece of paper and take off our shoes and draw them. I won full scholarships to 2 of those schools and the Parsons guy told me my portfolio was in the top 3 portfolios that he had seen that year.
Again, I’m not telling you this to brag, but on the contrary, I’m mentioning this because it’s funny how little it means, then and especially now. Talent might be a gift, but if you don’t keep at it, you risk squandering it away. As I struggled to finish my first year of bootcamp at Cooper (we had to enroll in like 8 or 9 different classes a semester. Yeah, you heard that right), I realized deep down that while I was technically proficient, I lacked a certain passion and uninhibited creativity that many of the other students had. I just didn’t have it and the work that I did was not good. Some of you may already know my struggles with art, but while it’s true that I lost interest in art that first year, I also gave up on it and myself. I felt totally uninspired and deflated (though I would later gain it back with music).
I have this problem, see. I’m both cursed and blessed with being a perfectionist and I tend to give up on something if it’s not turning out the way I envision. It’s incredibly frustrating and I know it’s stupid. I tend to focus on the goal and not the process, even though I like the idea of process and it seems that I *should* like the process of, well…process. So I found myself reverting back to these unrealistic expectations that I set out for myself. I did a drawing and it wasn’t good. I shouldn’t have cared so much about the way it looked, but should have been encouraged by the fact that I was trying to draw again. And instead of getting upset with myself, I should have just kept going, working at it and doing it over and over and over again. But the perfectionist, Type A with a capital T, control freak in me didn’t make that happen.
I’m starting over again tomorrow. The good news is that I have a lot of ideas right now. The bad news is that I have a lot of ideas right now and can’t focus on anything. Seriously, I’m all over the place, but I look over at the girls and see how freely they draw and paint. They will both literally draw the same person figure over and over, day after day. I have whole sketchbooks and piles of loose papers with these people, but there’s a lesson in there! Focus and perseverance will get you to the place you want to be.
And before you say it, I know. I get it from Claudine all the time. “Chill out! You have to chillax, mommy!”.