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dd50
09-03-2003, 11:48 AM
Hi folks,

I'm really not sure which part of my life is having a bearing on all these things I'm going through ... and there certainly is allot going on ... but I'm really having a problem with confidence that I can even do ANYTHING right!

I keep having lots of ideas ... but each time I attempt one, I find that I really don't have the talent or skills to follow through. I get depressed very easily ... and discouraged. I'm very down on myself allot .... thinking I'm no better than 1,000's of other artist, and not even anywhere NEAR most of them!

I start an idea ... and within a few days .. I give up. I stay down for days at a time .. sometimes longer. I put away that medium, and forget it ... and later try something new. But then again, I end up putting that away. 'Sigh'

How do you really know if you have ANY talent at all? How do you know if you're even meant to DO art? What if I'm a wannabee artist? :-(

I think I asked this before ... because I was in one of my slumps then too ... but forgot all the replies.

My dad was a 'natural' artist ... which means he just sat down and in a few seconds had a caricature or cartoon of a person drawn ... that was as good as the Disney characters. Dang! I wish I had his talent! And yet ... he did NOTHING with it! His whole life folks would tell him (especially his family) how talented he was ... and that he really should be using it somehow. But sad to say, his dad always put him down ... and he had NO confidence in himself. It's funny ... but that REALLY bothered me all my life... to see him waste his talents ... and yet .. I'm doing the same thing in a way.

Yet, I feel that ... how am I wasting something I may not even have? I'm not sure 'artist' is what's really in my blood ... or it's just creating in other ways. When I've taken tests before ... on where I would do well in a job ... I always scored 'opposites', as in 'Clerical' and 'Art'. that always puzzled the test givers.

I remember in school ... I loved 'art' class, 'homemaking' (cooking) and 'writing' the best. But how does one figure out just 'where' they fit in?

Geesh! I'm 51 years old, and don't know what I should be when I grow up!

All suggestions, encouragement and ideas VERY welcomed! :-)

Hugs,
Dee

SanDL
09-03-2003, 12:17 PM
First of all: here's a hug

Now go find a book called "Art and Fear" by David Bayles.

(stern voice) Next: your frustration, depression and lack of motivation are a luxury and must be dispensed with when it comes to the art process.

Stop measuring yourself against others (for now).

Finally, allow yourself to be "dormant" for a while. Maybe you're in an incubation phase and you need quiet internal, inactive brewing time. Eat a lot of eye candy. That means go to the library and borrow a ton of art books with beautiful pictures.

I feel crumby like that on occasion....I WANT to work (because I know I will feel better) but everything I attempt looks like garbage. Then I just putter, or consciously make "emotional hairballs" which are paintings designed to be very awful. I actually number them and sofar I have 20. And they are awful.

Here's another hug. It will pass.

heh
09-03-2003, 12:25 PM
you know you are “meant to do art” when, despite all odds, you are still doing it

don’t ever grow up :D

urealityormine
09-03-2003, 02:02 PM
First of all...here is another (hug). I'm new here and I am trying to find my way around. I have been mostly reading and looking at all the beautiful art being created. I came across your post and had to at least send a hug and say hang in there. I find that when I get stuck and can't seem to get anything to turn out the way I would like it to, it's good to just step away from it for a while and do something else until I can regain my focus.

RobinZ
09-03-2003, 03:03 PM
I wonder whether your frustration at executing your ideas is lack of technical skill to carry out what you "see" in your mind? If so, work on every aspect of your idea before you try to put it all together. For instance, you want to paint a vase of flowers on a damask cloth. Practice painting each petal of each flower over and over for practice until you like it. Each leaf. Each dark mass. The vase. The tablecloth. Then you will have the skill and the confidence to put it all together.

I think I'm reading that you are flitting from medium to medium to find a way out of your frustration. I think it's great to try it all, but to build confidence and skill in manipulating any medium, you have to take some time to concentrate on mastering it. How about a class? I'm taking one this fall and I can't wait! I think the structure will be good for me.

vklum
09-03-2003, 03:40 PM
Dee,

First of all here's another (((hug))) for you.

Second...try to make sure you're not carrying around any of your father's "baggage". In other words, don't try to live up to his talent and potential, but concentrate on your own talent and potential.

Third. Well, I've been sort of struggling with the same confidence/motivation problem lately...not helped with a full-time school load and the fact that I need to find some sort of income-producing job (soon). Yesterday at my college, I ran into my art teacher and his wife (who's also his TA) and they invited me back to their Saturday painting class. Well, I have any number of reasons to not do it...I should keep weekends open for any potential jobs I may get, I need to study for my other classes, etc. But then I got to thinking how good I felt spending my Saturday mornings painting and that Mr. and Mrs. (Dr.) Hernandez always make their students feel good about themselves and what they're doing.

So, despite the fact that I'll have to get up early six days a week, I think I'm gonna sign up again!

So, I'll echo others in this thread...seek out a class (or two) and sign up. If nothing else, it'll get you practicing your art consistently every week, and you'll hear other voices instead of just the ones in your head telling you nasty things and making you feel bad about yourself. :)

I'm rootin' for ya, Dee! :clap: :clap:

RobinZ
09-03-2003, 05:35 PM
I had to keep the t.v. on for months to drown out those nasty voices while I worked! If I didn't, I second-guessed myself every second!

DanaT
09-03-2003, 06:00 PM
Hi Dee. Another hug.

I think whoever said this may be your father's baggage may be right. After all, if you think he had talent and he didn't have the confidence to do anything with it, where does that put you? (especially if you think that compared to your father you have NO talent) Its not true, at the very least, genes count for something. If your father was very artistic, then chances are you inherited some of his ability or you wouldn't have this hankering for art. But it also seems that you inherited his lack of self confidence.

I don't know exactly how to counter that myself. My father was a very pessimistic man who was always envious of other people and I find to my horror that I share some of these traits. I think San is right though: You can do it even though you fear to do it.

Rose Queen, the other Guide in the forum, found this marvelous quote:

Originally posted by Rose Queen
There is a vitality, a life-force, a energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever anytime. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others. If I add something to
my time, then that is my prize.
~Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille

The key statement here is "You don't even have to believe in yourself or your work" and "No artist is pleased"

If this describes you, you're in good company. Martha Graham was one hell of an artist.

ps Oh yeah and a class always helps :D Just pick one medium and one subject matter and see how much you can learn. If you get bored, you can always change later but at least you will have had the satisfaction of giving one medium and one subject matter your utmost attention. It could be florals in pastels, or portraits in oil, or landscapes in watercolor. Give it a go and see what you've got. :)

pps we're starting an Artists Way group this Saturday to walk ourselves through some of the blocks you mentioned. Please join us if you are able. I think you'll find it immensely helpful.

Good luck!

Stoy Jones
09-03-2003, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by dd50


Dang! I wish I had his talent! And yet ... he did NOTHING with it! His whole life folks would tell him (especially his family) how talented he was ... and that he really should be using it somehow. But sad to say, his dad always put him down ... and he had NO confidence in himself. It's funny ... but that REALLY bothered me all my life... to see him waste his talents ... and yet .. I'm doing the same thing in a way.



I would have to respectfully disagree with his family. The only way I see wasting talent is simply not using it. It sounds to me that he was quite successful in making people happy by amazing them with what he could do and had fun doing so and creating some lasting memories as well.

I don't like to put confidence and success in the same category. It sets us up for disaster. Having confidence in picking up a pencil and creating something others can marvel at is something I struggle with myself when I'm in a slump. I think we (I include myself in this) often overlook the simple pleasures that talent can offer rather than what the tough and competitive world could give.

I draw cartoons and work in pencil and ink and yes, I worked for Disney for five years as a Janitor and never could come close to being accepted in animation. What a wake-up call to a wannabe artists like myself :D

My wife always tells me, "be best at what you know and don't try to be best at what others do" and "be excellent at one thing and not mediocre at a dozen things". I know I make my wife and son laugh and I know I make my son's classroom beg for more cartoons when I visit. I have sold some work and always game for more commissions, but I like to think I'm successful and that alone keeps me going in those times when I can't do anything good.

I would suggest going to whatever got you interested in art in the first place and start there. Going back to those "creative roots" is not a bad thing and most of all, please don't judge yourself. You are likely excellent at what you do best.

Stoy Jones

dd50
09-04-2003, 08:09 AM
HUGE Hugs to all who have responded! :-)

Thank you ALL from the bottom of my heart ... for the concern, encouragement and good advice!

I want to respond to each one individually ... but am not feeling so well this morning ... bear with me and I'll get back to you soon.

More hugs! :-)
Dee

erik_satie_rolls
09-04-2003, 08:48 AM
Dee here is yet another (((hug))).

Depression is real. Im speaking from experience. It gets into you and colors (grays?) everything that you try to do. Sometimes it has a real reason, but often its because you're born that way. Manic depression runs in my family. I've been severely depressed twice. Right now I'm on a very low dose of Prozac, which seems to prop me up without making me too obnoxious (excpt when I drink too much coffee, like now).

I have read in another of your posts that you have heart problems and are concerned about medications. My suggestion on depression medication is to find another doctor who can help you get something that won't harm you. Its all a balance. If things get so bad that you get suicidal, don't wait, get medication NOW. There is NO treatment for suicide.

Motivation can be completely different from depression and you bring up a point that all of us face sooner or later: is there any point to my doing this?

I've faced that many times, even as a degreed artist. Last year after my Mom passed away I felt like this was it, either become an established artist now or never, and hurry up.

After a year, my attitude has changed. Now I think of my talent and desire to make art as a gift from God. Success may be beyond my control, but I can still enjoy my art. That means doing it for me, something I have to keep telling myself.

In practice this means being patient when the motivation isnt there, it means God wants me to do something else right now. If there's one thing I've learned in my short life, its that motivation comes and goes. Just be ready for it when it comes. Take art classes, keep up with graphic software, have a set of brushes, paints, pastels handy. Meanwhile, go on a cruise, go shopping, or otherwise wait inspiration out in the most pleasant way you can find. (Praying for motivation helps too.)

Others may disagree about this and insist on drudging into the studio every day and toughing it out in front of a blank canvas. I'm not wired that way. My art is for me. If I'm not enjoying it, I don't do it. In other words, I keep at it, but I don't beat myself up over it.

All of the other advice everyone gave you about classes, about your past and your Dad, is very good. If you want to read an interesting book about how our parents affect our life choices, try the Celestine Prophecy. I don't swear by anything in it, but it has some unusual insights that may be helpful. It helped me understand how the lives of my parents had a great effect on who I am.

I hope some of this helps. People who haven't been through chronic depression don't always understand that its not just caused by circumstances or having a 'wrong' attitude. It CAN be a chemical imbalance and CAN be treated.

God bless you.

Dan

nytefall
09-04-2003, 10:40 AM
Hi Dee! *hug*

I deal with alot of the same issues myself. i, too, suffer from chronic depression, i have fought with it all my life. (my layoff in march and loss of health insurance and prescription coverage did not help matters!). ive built up a wall of cynicism as a defense mechanism, its very easy to hide behind.

i can find my motivation and confidence falling through the floor, and it will usually take nothing to send them there, and i never approach it with anyone or talk about it because i dont want anyone to know. (yeah.. i know, not very smart :p). i have no formal art training at all, and i feel like i am wasting my time, like i'm failing.. and a litte voice keeps tellng me to quit.

i have my best ideas in my down phases, and in my up phases when i am able to concentrate and create, i cannot translate what i have seen. it is endlessly frustrating! but i dont know how i'd be if that all stopped, because i dont know anything else.. its a scary thought...

im rambling ... i need to learn when to stop talking LOL.. anyway...

i dont have any real advice, because i still fight with this myself every single day. some of the other people here have offered some wonderful thoughts.. some which i should take to heart myself. :D

what i can offer is understanding, because i spend alot of time that way myself, and i know how it feels and how hard it is. so i will give you more *big hugs* and say that i am here with you, and offer an ear and a shoulder, and say "i know exactly how that feels and you arent alone"

jo

RobinZ
09-04-2003, 02:40 PM
Anybody here who suffers with depression, my heart goes out. I've only been affected that way during hard times, and have lived long enough to know if I wait it out it will get better. It's not in my personality. Not at all the same, I know.

Do any of you have good resources for dealing with it? Especially for family members to help someone, given the privacy laws now? I guess you can figure out, someone I love is suffering and his family is having a difficult time with resources/information from the doctors, who have been pretty unsucessful with medications. Any up to date resource would be wonderful. Thanks.

nytefall
09-04-2003, 03:24 PM
Hi Robin :)

here are some useful articles that I have seen on depression.

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/depression/16597
http://www.have-a-heart.com/help-a-friend.html

there is alot of embarrassment at first. depression is one of those things that people still attached a stigma to, and it is very difficult for alot of people who suffer from it to really come out in the open and discuss it.

i would be more than happy to talk about it with you if you have any specific questions. I am not a doctor, but I have had alot of personal experience dealing with it... and if someone you care about isnt talking about it, perhaps I can offer a little insight that may help a little bit. i do know that when i started really talking about it with my husband, it did help a great deal, and his understanding how to deal with me helped us both.

I hope this is helpful. Both you and he will be in my thoughts.

arthistoryfan
09-05-2003, 12:36 PM
I totally understand what you're going through. I get frustrated because it only seems that I can paint 2 or 3 paintings a year that I am even remotely satisfied with...even then I look at those paintings and see areas that I wish I would have done better with. recently I have found myself gessoing like a mad woman over anything I have atempted to do. I feel like I take a step backwards after painting something decent and it takes me months to move forward again. But alas! I have to remember that these down periods only last a short time...so hang in there!

Arthistoryfan

erik_satie_rolls
09-05-2003, 01:52 PM
If true art is responding to one's inner vision, and true success is not judged by what critics, or collectors, or relatives say, then it comes down to the main beneficiary of art process being the artist.

If its not fun, if the work doesn't look right, call it a learning experience and move on. Half the fun is the learning anyway.

We get so caught up in our 'career' as an artist we forget that we have little control over what others think of our work. We have great control over what we choose to do next.

Norman Rockwell is one of the greatest figurative painters, in my opinion, of the last century, yet he was never considered a painter. He was an 'illustrator', and therefore the critics and galleries didn't have to deal with the fact that his work was arguably more popular than any other artist of the 20th century.

He had bouts of depression with his lack of 'success' too. Success in other people's eyes.

Paint for yourself.

erik_satie_rolls
09-05-2003, 02:03 PM
Well, I have to reply to myself, because I don't exactly agree with it.

Interaction with others is good, even necessary for an artist. The expression of ideas to others is part of why we make our art.

But its only a part. The beginning of art comes from inside, and that is the part we have to be true to.

dd50
09-06-2003, 08:19 AM
Hi SanDL,

Thank you for the hugs. :)

The book will have to be in the library .... have NO money to spare right now ... but I'll look there.

Ah ... you can't just 'dispense' of depression .. if you understand it, IT decided when to leave ... unless of course, you take medication ... and right now that's something I'd rather not do.

I have tried what you say ... and it works for a bit .... but then I get anxious to create myself ... and the process starts all over again.

Hugs,
Dee

dd50
09-06-2003, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by heh
you know you are “meant to do art” when, despite all odds, you are still doing it

don’t ever grow up :D


Hmm?? Well, I DO keep going back to it no matter what's going on in my life ... but I'm wondering if that means I'm just 'hoping' to be an artist ... or that I 'admire' artists ... and wish I could do what they do?

Dee

dd50
09-06-2003, 08:22 AM
Hiya,

Thank you for the hugs. :)

Dee

dd50
09-06-2003, 08:27 AM
Hi Robin,

Yes, I do believe that's a part of it ... how much a part, I don't know .... but it's not ALL of it .. because I'm this way about other things in my life also. I do think I share some of my father's lack of confidence (genes) ... and have to fight that all the time, and that's in self esteem too.

But I think you're right about the 'skills' part ... cause I do have so many ideas that I would love to do ... but I feel I don't have the natural ability to do them. I guess I think one has to have some type of talent to 'draw' well ... before they create well.

For what I like to do ... or at least ONE of the areas, I really do have to be able to draw certain 'emotions' and 'lines' to get the effect I want. I did buy a book awhile back ... and I just got it out again ... and it helps some.

I'm afraid a class is out right now, I can hardly pay my rent! I'm way behind in many things ... and even food is not a top priority, so a class will have to wait.

Thanks for all the encouragement! :)
Hugs,
Dee

dd50
09-06-2003, 08:35 AM
Hi Vklum,

Thank you for another hug. :)

You know, I think I do feel I wish I could be as good as he was.
I also believe I carry allot of his lack of confidence! That's also in other areas of my life too ... so it's something I really need to work on. Add to that ... that I get depressed easily and have low self-esteem and a bad marriage right now ... and it all adds up to a bad feel about ANYTHING I do.

I reallly wish I could take a class ... but NO money right now, unless I find a free one! Yeah right! LOL!! I know it's a good suggestion ... and as soon as I can I will.

Thanks for all the support. :)
Hugs,
Dee

dd50
09-06-2003, 08:39 AM
I agree completely that I inherited his lack of confidence along with his love of art. For sure!!!

Well that quote DOES describe me ... guess I'm in good company then!

I have the book 'The Artist's Way' ... but find the morning pages too hard since I've gotten sick. I have lupus ... and have very little strength many mornings ... sometimes just enough to get myself out of bed ... and my cognitive thinking is messed up, so things like that are very hard on me right now. But I might join you guys for the group. Thanks for the invite.

Hugs,
Dee

dd50
09-06-2003, 09:13 AM
Hi Stoy,

You said:

"The only way I see wasting talent is simply not using it. It sounds to me that he was quite successful in making people happy by amazing them with what he could do and had fun doing so and creating some lasting memories as well."


Well ... yes and no. He did have fun drawing ... and he did leave me with several sketches that I enjoy looking at .. and those are memories ... but he was also very frustrated ... and I think he WANTED to sell them ... or get them out to folks .. he just never had the confidence to do so. But, you're right about him leaving memories. :)

You said:

"I don't like to put confidence and success in the same category. It sets us up for disaster. Having confidence in picking up a pencil and creating something others can marvel at is something I struggle with myself when I'm in a slump. I think we (I include myself in this) often overlook the simple pleasures that talent can offer rather than what the tough and competitive world could give."


Hmmm?? Well, for some folks, success IS what they're looking for, and what they equate being 'good' at something with. I know for me, it's that way ... I mean .. I can enjoy drawing cartoons and making myself laugh a little .. but I feel it's no good unless somebody else enjoys them too. I'd feel much better if somebody paid for what I create, and that I made that person smile or laugh or just happy with what I did.


You said:

"My wife always tells me, "be best at what you know and don't try to be best at what others do" and "be excellent at one thing and not mediocre at a dozen things". I know I make my wife and son laugh and I know I make my son's classroom beg for more cartoons when I visit. I have sold some work and always game for more commissions, but I like to think I'm successful and that alone keeps me going in those times when I can't do anything good."

But see, I DO many things mediocre ... and that's why I'm wondering if I'm even MEANT to be an artist ... or I'm just envious of their talent, and wish I could be one too.


You said:

"I would suggest going to whatever got you interested in art in the first place and start there. Going back to those "creative roots" is not a bad thing and most of all, please don't judge yourself. You are likely excellent at what you do best."

First of all, I'm not sure what you mean about going back to the place I got interested in art ... do you mean 'where' in my past? In my life? What age ... or where I was?? It's VERY hard for me to not judge myself ... especially when I ask my husband how he likes something I've done ... and spent allot of time working on, and he yawns and just says nothing .. or says .. yeah, it's ok. Geesh!!!

Thank you for all your support though ... I do appreciate it.
Hugs,
Dee

SanDL
09-06-2003, 10:30 AM
Dee, I've been through some serious clinical depression and, of course, no, you can't just dispense with it. I wasn't sure that's what you were referring to in your first post.

Lupus is another thing altogether. There may not be a magic bullet.

The director of my graduate program once asked me what I wished for myself emotionally and I replied "to be free of anxiety". She laughed and told me that goal was entirely unrealistic (given my nature). She said the proper goal was to learn to live with it.

It was almost 13 years later and after many therapy sessions when I finally understood what that meant.

One of the wonderful people who have worked with me suggested that I make my anxiety into an entity and learn to recognize when "it" is operative. (Mine is a black gorilla called Joe)
She said whenever Joe shows up, throw him a party. By that she meant: experience the anxiety with the awareness that it is anxiety and not doomsday. When I feel the fluttering sensations, the worry filled thoughts, the restless, sleepless nights I (literally)say hi to Joe and ask if him what he needs. There is some humor to this process and it has been tremendously helpful but it did not work overnight.

Accepting "Joe" as part of me has lessened the impact he has had on my life considerably over time.

I wish you the best. And here is another book that I can highly recommend: Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. If you pm me with with yur mailing address, I will send you the complete set of his relaxation tapes...I don't need them anymore.

Haven
09-06-2003, 01:00 PM
Hi Dee,

*hugs* Like so many others who have responded I too can relate to the lack of confidence issues, etc.

In your reply to Stoy you said :
>>snip<<
But see, I DO many things mediocre ... and that's why I'm wondering if I'm even MEANT to be an artist ... or I'm just envious of their talent, and wish I could be one too.
>>snip<<

Well I also do LOTS of things "mediocre" too. And I bet LOTS of other artists do too. I personally believe this is a condition arising from trying to deny the natural artist within and trying to do all the other "stuff" we have drilled into our psyche as being "responsible", "productive", or even "grown-up". Often we flit from job to job, interest to interest, trying to find something that captures our attention the way working on a piece of art does, or did at one time if we have become some blocked we can't work anymore. Being creative also means having a highly inquisitive mind, so that doesn't mean all the side trips are a waste of time, just that for an artist they are side trips.

The battle to accept oneself as artist is an intensely personal one, and I wish I had more to offer in the way of advice. But lacking that LOL I will be cheering you on and will be happy to lend a sympathetic ear if you need one.

~haven

Kalibabe
09-06-2003, 01:13 PM
I ahve to admit i haven't read every post totally...

But, like many others, I ahve had bouts of depression. I refused to take medication for it, although the doctor recommended it for me. I had to find the trigger for the depression and do something about it. Personally, and I may be wrongs, but I feel, and my doctor, to be honest agreed... if you ahev been depressed, you are 'prone' to it, likely to become depressed again. Things trigger it.

For me, it was blindingly obvious what triggered it, so i did something about it. It took about 9 months but i got there.

Maybe your time and energies have to be focussed on yourself during a period of depression rather than putting extra pressure on yourself to produce 'brilliant' works of art.

I tend to find doing things like decorating, more physical types of thyings to be better for me during a time like this.

You can be artistic with decorating, but to me the physical exertion was good for me.

I think my advice would be to take time, and try to find the trigger... and not pressure yourself regarding the art work.

Stoy Jones
09-07-2003, 02:18 AM
Originally posted by dd50

First of all, I'm not sure what you mean about going back to the place I got interested in art ... do you mean 'where' in my past? In my life? What age ... or where I was?? It's VERY hard for me to not judge myself ... especially when I ask my husband how he likes something I've done ... and spent allot of time working on, and he yawns and just says nothing .. or says .. yeah, it's ok. Geesh!!!



I was thinking in terms of what comes natural to you. For example, I have put aside my cartooning once to pursue other mediums, only to find that I was fustrating myself and perhaps ignoring what got me started drawing in the first place, that being cartoons. Oh, I know, sometimes I keep my work between my peers and myself.

What keeps me motivated is the fact that I 'can' create. If the issue was contingent on being successful in terms of the expectations set by the cartoon or illustartion industry, I would have hung up my pens a long time ago. There's so much talent out there its overwhelming, but I allow room for possibilities :D one never knows and its worth taking that journey to find out.

But,..That is just me and I sure hope you can find something that you can stick to and pull through successfully.

Stoy

Maysun
09-07-2003, 01:26 PM
Hi, Dee, first of all another hug, and I hope you're feeling a lot better now.

I came across this site and I wonder if it might help you -

http://holistic-online.com/Yoga/hol_yoga_home.htm

I have done yoga and it does help.

Maysun:)

PainterWoman
09-11-2003, 01:46 AM
I'm teaching a 6 week course based on J. Cameron's 3rd book: Walking in this world. I'd taught/worked through TAW and VOG several times (and only had "fun" rather than producing paintings or novels or any of the "product" I thought was so important. Working through DID pretty much alleviate my own depression though.....
Last week I came across a statement that said (more or less):

Doubt is the natural companion of creativity.

The idea is that because we are plowing new ground, it is natural to lack confidence! I'd never thought of that before. :eek: But because I was always shamed/teased/taunted & generally put down by my artistic mother, once I felt any doubt, I just quit. Stopped cold. Now that I know "Doubt" is just along for the ride, I'm not so concerned by it.

E.Satie Rolls: you say many things that were helpful to me. Thanks! A pleasure to read.
Best wishes to all!

Saoirse
09-12-2003, 04:12 PM
i am bi-polar, with the leaning toward depression. medication helps (has saved my life, to be honest) but is not a cure, at least for me; i still travel the roller coaster, just not as often or as high/low...

we just ended 28 months of chemo therapy for my now 17 yr old daughter for leukemia. she is doing well, but we can't think cure for 6 years. my son (18) is also bi-polar (i gave him that along with my cute nose)...

we are broke all the time! i am a masterful juggler, but it takes a toll. like many, many bi-polars, i am NOT good with $. sigh.

on top of all this, i reach a point in EVERY SINGLE PAINTING I DO where i think: THIS SUCKS! I HAVE NO TALENT! I AM JUST FOOLING THE WORLD...WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY FIND OUT I'M A FRAUD???

yet art is all i can remember doing, from the time i was small. i don't do it only because i love it (hah! sometimes it is more akin to self torture) but because i have to. i can't look at something without wondering about light/shadow play, composition...it's second nature...

i am in the pit right now, it's very dark and cold. but i am still working, because it forces me to focus and takes away some of the ennui.

btw: i grew up in the Fingerlakes of NYS and am soooo homesick! Auburn, to be exact. i miss my lakes in the autumn.....

best,
annie

DanaT
09-13-2003, 10:51 AM
Take care Annie. My mother is just getting over therapy for breast cancer and its hard to see someone you love suffer and not know if they're going to pull through.

I think coming to a point where you think your artwork sucks is a feeling not reserved for bipolars. I know I have it and several others do too. But we keep on doing it. :)

dd50
09-13-2003, 10:57 AM
Hi Annie! :-)

Wow .. big hugs for all you've been through and are going through!

So, you're from Auburn huh? I use to live in Marcellus, that's where I went to junior high school. My sister and I use to take a bus into Auburn to hang out at the pizza place ... and go to the show. Small world ... huh?

What meds are you on if I may ask?

I feel EXACTLY like you many times ... about my art! What in hell do I think I'm doing? I'm NOT an artist!! Yup! Know what you mean all too well. :rolleyes:

I just took a week-end not long ago, and stayed in Glen's Falls, at a Bed&Breakfast ... it was situated across from the lake. I visited many of the wineries ... and found one that sells grape juice from ALL the different grapes ... just like wine, only it's grape juice! It's in season soon... so I'm going back to buy some, I don't drink .. so this is great! The only reason I had the money to do that ... was because I took it from what I had saved up to separate from my husband. Only now I used it all on bills, etc... and can't leave until the tax money comes in. UGH! :rolleyes:

Great to meet you! Where are you living now?

Hugs,
Dee

firepix
12-16-2003, 12:11 PM
http://members.rogers.com/etherpeek/boy2.jpg :p

Wow. This was a long thread but I had a pleasure reading it all because DD50's message was so what I needed to read!

{{{hugs too!}}}

I don't know if I can match any of the pearls of wisdom that everyone passed along. I think I benefited reading than having anything wise to add.

What I can do, however, is identify! Man, can I ever...

My old man has the flare and I recall being about 5 when he taught me to shade with a pencil. It was a lamb chop on a piece of meat wrapper that he drew and taught me to add depth to my line drawings. He was amazing and every now and then he would draw something and shade it, whether it be on a piece of paper or the back of a cigarette package. He's never did anything with it, except, as some of the contributors pointed out, made those close to him happy and inspired. He was too much of a blue collar brit to not conform to the throws of his programmed work ethic and forgo the creativity.

My folks identified that I had whatever magic or flare my dad had with respect to art. They embellished me every Christmas with Grumacher oil paints, canvasses, books, pastels and watercolour kits to help give me a push. I only wanted to keep drawing in pencil and Laurentian pencil crayons (later graduated to Prismacolor). I could never get my folks to buy me art lessons - there seemed to be a stigma about having the gift and not needing direction or having someone guide your technical skills.

If I ever scored poorly in art class (as bad as all my other subjects) my parents would freak because I was deemed as exceptional compared to other students (hell, even the art teacher as far as my mom was concerned). Later I recognized that this cockiness and state of awe my art produced was false pride and the real world showed me I sucked in comparison to other artists that had the founding principles of art theory.

I tried books, online tutorials, different mediums but nothing seemed to give me the comfort of knowing what I was doing to achieve the quality that my art lacked.

I am not prone to depression (moody, yes) but I do have a lot of quirks that feed my justification and self pity that only I can get over. Addictions, learning disabilities (I'm wired, can't sit still and never stay focussed) and prone to throwing pity parties and dwelling in the negative side of my self-esteem.

I found computers 8 years ago and have mad a really successful career out of the chaos and speed of which things evolve in Network Security. Completely analytical and logical that only uses about 20% of my creativity. It pays the bills and allows my wife to stay home with my kid. It does nothing to allow me the time I need to hone my infantile artistic ability.

At the end of the day I fear I will amount to nothing with the gift that God gave me. No one will ever get to know me from the heart and expressions I pass along in my creations while I'm so busy giving everyone with my brain.

This is so not about me! I have a self-centered nature and try to turn the focus on me all the time. What this thread did for me was made me feel less alone in my strife. The combat my artistic side has with my "grown-up" was accurately documented by others in this thread.

I want to thank all of you, especially Diane, for starting this thread and giving from the heart. Some of you have suffered and my heart really goes out to you. I cried at one point reading some of the tribulations that some of you face, either personally or with your children. My 4 year old girl (soon to be 5) has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism and I've gone from blaming myself (there's some speculation that I might have had the same growing up) to embracing the idea that God feels I'm up for the challenge. In reading what others face with their children and with life, I am so freakin' lucky to have the opportunities I have and wish I'd just stay focussed and trade in my wishing bone for a backbone!

Thanks again...

Gary

Dreams-of-Flight
12-19-2003, 05:12 AM
Sounds like Dee & I had similar experiences with talented fathers. My father could draw like Leonardo D.Vinci, seemingly effortlessly, but lacked the confidence. so, he pushed me to succeed in his place. But he criticized every scribble I made from about age 3, nothing was ever good enough, not once, and made me believe that unless I went to art school I would never suceed as an artist. My grandmother also told me at an early age that artists have always starved, and I really took that to heart.

OK, so this means that technically I can draw exquisitely, and can paint in virtually any style or medium to a good standard. But, I struggle to pick up a brush or pencil unless its for a commission. If someone says paint me a dog, a flower, whatever, no problem, but if I just want to paint, I get everything ready, pick up a brush and inspiration flees. When I DO get something started, I work until about half done & work is showing real potential, then am unable to continue for fear of ruining it. the only thing that gets me going again is someone telling me how wonderful my artwork is, how sad is that?!

To top it all off, I have a rare and pretty much untreatable disability, which means my joints are weak & prone to dislocation & I'm in pain a lot, and I get tired very easily. I am a single parent to a gorgeous 5 yr old with Aspergers Syndrome, (a bit like high functioning autism), who also has other health problems. He is unable to be educated successfully within school system, so I teach him at home & do speech, physical & occupational therapy at home with him, also social skills stuff. He is making excellent progress.

I have sunk into clinical depression before, but somehow manage to keep it just bearable without medication, through sheer stubbornness, but its always lurking, ready to grab me, and sometimes does for a while.

In a productive phase last April, I managed to set myself up as self employed artist, and am still registered as a business, but I hardly produce anything to sell. There is no law against running a loss making business I know, but I would really like to make a success of this.

I've tried the artist's way & similar stuff, and always start well, and then gradually grind to a halt. Please don't feel sorry for me, I don't want sympathy, I want to work my way out of this frustrating rut.

ArtistGary
12-24-2003, 10:40 PM
Dee, you have touched many of us with your honesty. I wonder if your struggle partly stems from feeling like you're not a 'successful' artist, whatever that means to you. You 'look', sound and act like an artist. Why not accept what you are--an artist? Why not? If so, why not be the best artist that you can be at any moment--and not be any better or worse in comparison to anybody else at all? I speak from direct experience in this matter.

This year I have been recuperating from devastating cancer surgery that hit and nearly killed me in the same week (spent twelve days in ICU). This happened in November 2002, a month after I got laid off from the best job I have ever had. To top it off, the surgery resulted in memory and concentration problems (like a stroke) that persist to this day. Oh, and did I mention that I have been manic/depressive for over 30 years and have even tried suicide about 20 years ago?

What's the point? Eight months ago the neurologist suggested that I take an art class in order to learn 'muscle memory' to replace the 'mental memory' that most people rely on. I told him that I couldn't even draw a stick figure properly. He persisted. So I took a basic drawing class in June and July of this year at a junior college. One-third of the way into the class, the teacher recommended that I either drop or audit the class. She wanted me to avoid a failing grade, since I was so slow in grasping concepts IN COMPARISON TO THE OTHER STUDENTS.

I told her that I wasn't there for a grade, but because I wanted to learn how to express myself through drawing. I told her that I believed I could continue to learn, and asked her if I could remain as a regular student. Besides, where was I going to go? She reluctantly agreed to let me stay.

I worked VERY hard at learning how to draw. Something magical happened about half-way through the class, because the teacher examined my work and declared that I was no longer in art therapy--she pronounced that I was now an artist! The funny thing is that I already knew it by my struggles and rewards from my work.

By the way, I got an 'A' on the final exam-class project. A week ago, l I completed a basic sculpture class that repeated the same process as before: slow beginning, persistance, epiphany, and finally peer acceptance and a successful grade. But I am far more excited about the learning and creative expression it has brought to me than any group acceptance or a grade. In fact, I am now working on projects that have nothing to do with classes or grades or anybody’s expectations. And I am very excited.

Dee, many of us feel just as broke financially as you do. This is the worst year I can ever remember in that regard. I hope that you go to each and every forum/group at WetCanvas and look at the many free tutorials available. I am astounded at how helpful and thorough these mentors can be in sharing their craft, as well as their passion and their love for art.

I'll end with this quote and a suggestion:

"Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist."
---Edward Hopper


Go express your inner life in whatever way you can! And keep us posted. We need your words to express what is inside many of us. We also need your artistic expression to increase our collective voice.

Gary

stoney
12-28-2003, 01:59 AM
Originally posted by dd50
Hi folks,

dd;
I'm really not sure which part of my life is having a bearing on all these things I'm going through ... and there certainly is allot going on ... but I'm really having a problem with confidence that I can even do ANYTHING right!

Stoney; Oh oh. Overloaded? There are times when you need to metaphorically shove a steel rod through the wheel of life and
take time for yourself.

dd;
I keep having lots of ideas ... but each time I attempt one, I find that I really don't have the talent or skills to follow through. I get depressed very easily ... and discouraged. I'm very down on myself allot .... thinking I'm no better than 1,000's of other artist, and not even anywhere NEAR most of them!

Stoney; Maybe so, maybe no. Does it really matter? Those other artists have the same doubts you do about their abilities.

I see life as a journey among many paths. I work on progressing one step at a time. Some days I do better than others, but that's ok. You'll have done the best you can that day, and that's all you can do.

May I suggest breaking a goal down into the smallest 'nibble pieces' you can? Small 'steps' towards a goal is much easier to visualize and do than to insist on 'leaping canyons in a single bound'.

dd;
I start an idea ... and within a few days .. I give up. I stay down for days at a time .. sometimes longer. I put away that medium, and forget it ... and later try something new. But then again, I end up putting that away. 'Sigh'

Stoney
(rhetorical question alert) Why do you put it away?

dd'
How do you really know if you have ANY talent at all? How do you know if you're even meant to DO art? What if I'm a wannabee artist? :-(

stoney;
Talent can often be an obstacle. For one, how do you analyze what went 'right?' If a person makes an error they can analyze what went wrong.

Your writing below indicates an obstacle involved with talent. It's too easy. The person can't figure out what goes right and so may let it be for fear of failure.

dd;
I think I asked this before ... because I was in one of my slumps then too ... but forgot all the replies.

My dad was a 'natural' artist ... which means he just sat down and in a few seconds had a caricature or cartoon of a person drawn ... that was as good as the Disney characters. Dang! I wish I had his talent! And yet ... he did NOTHING with it! His whole life folks would tell him (especially his family) how talented he was ... and that he really should be using it somehow. But sad to say, his dad always put him down ... and he had NO confidence in himself. It's funny ... but that REALLY bothered me all my life... to see him waste his talents ... and yet .. I'm doing the same thing in a way.

Stoney; The constant put downs can really cause a problem. It sounds like nothing your dad did was good enough for his father. When that's pounded into you from childhood it's very tough to rise above it.

dd;
Yet, I feel that ... how am I wasting something I may not even have?

Stoney; I don't see how you're wasting anything. It's clear you want to draw and paint. How about giving yourself permission to paint?

How about setting a small goal each day? Maybe day 1 you do the first colour of the sky-and then reward yourself with something small.

Day 2 might be painting/drawing two flowers and then reward yourself again.

"Bite sized" steps. A little each day. Such can even be making a decision about a portion of the work.

dd;
I'm not sure 'artist' is what's really in my blood ... or it's just creating in other ways. When I've taken tests before ... on where I would do well in a job ... I always scored 'opposites', as in 'Clerical' and 'Art'. that always puzzled the test givers.

Stoney; There are a myraid ways to create. "Tests" are very limited items that don't mean a whole lot.

dd;
I remember in school ... I loved 'art' class, 'homemaking' (cooking) and 'writing' the best. But how does one figure out just 'where' they fit in?

Stoney; Above you list several creative venues you had fun with. As for 'where' to 'fit in;' what places do you want to fit in?

DD
Geesh! I'm 51 years old, and don't know what I should be when I grow up!

Stoney;
Why would you want to grow up? I'm a 'recycled' teenager myself. :)

We all have myraid of facets in our makeup. I suggest letting the various facets 'out to play.' I suspect you'll surprise yourself when you let yourself have fun with it and explore.

dd;
All suggestions, encouragement and ideas VERY welcomed!

Stoney;
I hope I've been of some help.

Hugs,
Dee :)

dd50
12-31-2003, 08:25 AM
Wow! I've not come into this area in quite some time, and today saw the recent responses! It warms my heart like I can't explain to you ... to see how this has touched many of you, and helped to talk this stuff out! :-)

Recently, I've been going through SO much stuff, both physical and emotional .... and am trying to leave an abusive marriage ... and to read that this post has helped in ANY small way for us to release some thoughts and emotions ... makes today a little bit easier to face.

I did want to point out a few things ... that I thought of, as I read your responses. When I was a child ... teenager .. and young adult, my parents never really encouraged us to pursue anything in life ... talent, education ... nothing really. Also, I had low self esteem because I never really heard any encouraging or uplifting words from my folks. They loved me .. I know, and did the best they could with what THEY had ... but gosh .. I wish they would have made me a little bit more important .. or should I say, my education .. and talents ... and just who I was .. important, and encouraged me more.

My mom was very 'child-like' ... so she wasn't really good at being there for me .. I was there for HER more often. My parents fought allot, and had money problems consistently, as my dad had 'some' health problems .. but more I think, he was depressed allot and had very low self esteem also, so he had a very hard time sticking to jobs. That left us very poor most of the time. Living was just 'getting by' ... not very enjoyable.

I became very promiscuious in my teens, cause I needed comfort, touch, acceptance .... which of course, we all learn .. sex doesn't provide ... but I sure tried! LOL!!

Not really funny though .. cause in the end, it only lowered my self-esteem MORE. In junior high school, I lived in a small 'cliquey' town ... and was the outcast... it's funny, but I don't think about it often .. but we lived in an upstairs apartment in town ... and at night, the town 'boys' would open the bottom door that led to the stairs that came up to our apt. .. and would SCREAM obsceneties up the hallway! My dad would run to the door and down the stairs .. only to find them completely gone by then. Wow, I haven't thought of that in a LONG time ... but you know, that must have had a terrible inpact on who I was ... I do remember feeling like 'crap' .. the poor family in town .. that the school kids made fun of. And the older boys at that .. that really hurt me as a 'female' ... the part of me that was trying to find my place in the world.

My dad tried talking to the town police, but of course, everybody stuck together .. and they all hated him. I finally did hook up with the town 'stud' and we were together 3 years ... until we moved away .. sadly, he died several years ago. :-(

Anyway .. the girls were all rich and pretty and petite .. I was taller than most .. and felt awkward and ugly. I always felt 'different' ... artsy .. funky .. abstract. LOL!! I use to draw this 'woman' that was futuristic and dancing ... but in all honesty, didn't really feel I was worth much.

I'm SURE .. looking back .. that at the very important and impressionable time in my life ... that all had an impact on who I am now .. and how I STILL feel about many aspects of myself.

I know this is long ... sorry, but I thought it all ties in rather well.

I'm going to attach one of the drawings my dad left me ... a self-portrait he did of himself in cartoon ... I just love it, and it DOES look like him!

A very happy new year to all of you!
Hugs,
Dee

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2003/15300-Gramps_web.jpg

Keith Russell
12-31-2003, 10:41 AM
dee, New Year...new beginnings.

Best wishes to you!

K

stoney
01-01-2004, 09:08 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by dd50
[B]Wow! I've not come into this area in quite some time, and today saw the recent responses! It warms my heart like I can't explain to you ... to see how this has touched many of you, and helped to talk this stuff out! :-)

dd;
Recently, I've been going through SO much stuff, both physical and emotional .... and am trying to leave an abusive marriage ... and to read that this post has helped in ANY small way for us to release some thoughts and emotions ... makes today a little bit easier to face.

stoney;
(rhetorical comment)

There are times when a person's better off just leaving. Whether this is such a time only you can determine. Keep in mind no one's to be a 'punching bag.' Perhaps, contacting a lady's group for assistance?

'You' aren't the cause of the abuse. You're the victim If you're hearing, "you made me do this," you didn't make him do anything. The driver for the abuse is within him.

Then there are times when just being able to talk freely-folks being a 'shoulder to lean on' can be a big help.


dd;
I did want to point out a few things ... that I thought of, as I read your responses. When I was a child ... teenager .. and young adult, my parents never really encouraged us to pursue anything in life ... talent, education ... nothing really. Also, I had low self esteem because I never really heard any encouraging or uplifting words from my folks. They loved me .. I know, and did the best they could with what THEY had ... but gosh .. I wish they would have made me a little bit more important .. or should I say, my education .. and talents ... and just who I was .. important, and encouraged me more.

stoney;

Different times, I understand. It sounds like your folks did the best they could. At that point in time girl children were only expected to get the skills needed to catch a good husband to 'take care of you for the rest of your life.' Education and skills outside of the home weren't encouraged. The 'not so nifty fifties.'

dd;
My mom was very 'child-like' ... so she wasn't really good at being there for me .. I was there for HER more often. My parents fought allot, and had money problems consistently, as my dad had 'some' health problems .. but more I think, he was depressed allot and had very low self esteem also, so he had a very hard time sticking to jobs. That left us very poor most of the time. Living was just 'getting by' ... not very enjoyable.

(snip)

I know this is long ... sorry, but I thought it all ties in rather well.

I'm going to attach one of the drawings my dad left me ... a self-portrait he did of himself in cartoon ... I just love it, and it DOES look like him!

A very happy new year to all of you!

HNY to you as well, Dee. The tattered 2003 'canvas' has been retired and there's a sparkling fresh one on the easel. (rhetorical question) What are you going to 'paint' on it?

It might be an idea to check into Kaisen. It's a method of change where you break what you want to change into the smallest 'pieces' you can and sprinkle the 'path' to change with them.
It takes a possibly overwhelming task and turns it into 'bite sized pieces' which individually are easy to achieve. So, step by step the goal is reached by following the plotted path.

diamondbird
01-11-2004, 08:49 PM
What a great thread....and so many caring answers too... As an artist working alone and have many times of being depresed and angry! for so many years! this honest and sometimes painful repsonses really struck a chord with me!
Dee: many hugs to for being so honest in this thread, (and hugs to all the others who have replied! ) Your family sounds so much like mine...and they stopped me from painting for years with their indifference!
And so...Depression. But sometimes I get the feeling that depression is like a great dam wall with all of our talent, and gifts locked behind it.
So, I have recently started to explore it as a creative tool...as in James Moore's (a New York Jungian Psychiatrist) book on depression, using the mythical history of fairy-tales,...an order to use depression as a soul making tool...and helps to bear the pain, too!
Dear dreams-of-flight...keep going! As some-one with ME, I know what joint pains are like, and try to keep going...not as bad as yours perhaps...
but somedays, very painful. My son has Asberger's Syndrome ....and he is going away at the age of 21... to a good university this year ( six hundred kilometres away), to do the course of his choice...he is also great at photoghaphy and video production..They also call this "the boffin's (scientists) syndrome because of the amount of geniuses who had/have this syndrome...eg Einstein, and Shostokovich....it just makes people a bit socially incompetent, or eccentric! that's all. with lots of encouragement in your son's interests...he will do great!
Sorry for this long e-mail!

:angel: :angel: :angel:

msue
01-16-2004, 12:55 AM
Dee--This has been a very good thread. I came to this forum looking for answers for moving forward on a piece I am trying to do. The thread didn't have anything to do with the technical problems with my current project, but it did cover many of the same thoughts and feelings I have about my art work and it was almost humorous to see that we are the same age. I could mentally note I am not alone in my feelings of my work being crap. My paying job's schedule prevents me from going to the regional art museums and galleries lately, but I have been greatly energized and uplifted about my work after visiting them. Why? Because I often see work hanging on the walls of these esteemed places that are either the same quality or worst (IMO) than what I have under the bed and in the closet. It is depressing to know that that artist received thousands of dollars (or his/her estate did) and I may never have that kind of recognition, but at least I can know personally that I have created something just as worthy. We can't all be blessed with "Art Angels" and from all that I read, see, and hear most of the people who are "successful" artists are those who either have family and friends who promote their work and talent or spend equal amounts of time self-promoting as they do creating. I relate to many levels of your past. Mine was a mom who was a talented writer, which I didn't fully believe or encourage enough until it was too late. Not until after her death when I read her journals did I find out how often she has actually sold a story for grocery money when I was a small child, yet she never was the success she could have been because the family didn't fully support her efforts and I think I inherited from her afear of success. Something I don't relish, but have concluded must be my problem. I know what I need to do to make a go of my art, but the "clerical" side of my split personality won't spend the money to make the money as I have so often heard is the secret to being a success. If you are in a physically abusive relationship, there are too many women shelters to stay.

Good wishes for you to over come your depression and situation. I quit asking my husband's opinion. He either didn't want to be bothered at the moment or just found everything he could to critize it. He is artistic too, but we have different visions.

Shari
01-18-2004, 11:14 AM
Stoy,

"be excellent at one thing and not mediocre at a dozen things"

This quote gets to the core of one of my issues that I have struggled with. I finally truly accept that I am a person who will never excell at one thing only, but I want to experiment and discover so many things, including many art forms. So while I am a master of no one thing, I am profficient at many things, and they all bring me joy. I couldn't limit myself to just pastels, or just watercolor, or just collage, I have to do them all!!!! I also have to dance, play music and sing. I don't read music but I play several instruments. I don't draw very well, but I paint! I have, my whole life, gone from one thing to another to discover what it holds for me. I used to think there was something wrong with me because everyone around me was really really good at one thing, but I am not like that and now I celebrate that about myself.

Shari

BReid
01-18-2004, 05:35 PM
Since I'm new here I hope I'm not interfering with people that have already established a relationship. This is quite personal stuff afterall, but I feel inclinded to add something.

I work in a creative field- classical animation, and even know people that have worked for Disney. I also know people that are cartoonists, illustrators and fine artists. The one similar thing that seems to exist in all the people I know, as differant as they are, is that they are all underconfident at least at some point or another. Sadly, most of these guys in animation are so talented, but never do any of their own work because they don't feel good enough. I'm always scratching my head at this. There's also a lot of drinking too, mostly to try and shut the brain off.

I think most artists are sensitive, but it's what makes people artists. We tend to feel things a little more than most, but try bloody hard to not show it. There's so much we hold inside of us that needs some form of release, and it feels impossible actually getting it out there. It's frustrating, isn't it? I find it really hard to create when the Blue Devil's caught up with me. But once you get going you do start to feel better.

We're allowed to be "different" I was an outsider too. Artist's ARE a different breed! All the famous one's were pretty odd, so if it's good enough for them, I'll embrass my weirdness! Even my odd childhood has a place in who I am today.

My dad once told me that no artist feels like they're perfect, there's always room for improvment. I believe it. Personally, I feel like I suck, but what the hell. I'll keep going. There's good and bad days.

I don't mean to sound like I'm making light of your situation, because I'm not, but man, you've been through some pretty rough spots and to think your coming out on top! I think you're more motivated than you realize. You've gone as far as to post here for instance, so you know you have it in you. My artist friend told me when I started painting my own work a few years ago that it's like turning on a rusted tap; you'll get brown water for a while, but give it time, the water will run clear eventually.

Cheers!

diamondbird
01-18-2004, 06:38 PM
Stoy,

"be excellent at one thing and not mediocre at a dozen things"

This quote gets to the core of one of my issues that I have struggled with. I finally truly accept that I am a person who will never excell at one thing only, but I want to experiment and discover so many things, including many art forms. So while I am a master of no one thing, I am profficient at many things, and they all bring me joy. I couldn't limit myself to just pastels, or just watercolor, or just collage, I have to do them all!!!! I also have to dance, play music and sing. I don't read music but I play several instruments. I don't draw very well, but I paint! I have, my whole life, gone from one thing to another to discover what it holds for me. I used to think there was something wrong with me because everyone around me was really really good at one thing, but I am not like that and now I celebrate that about myself.

Shari

Dear Shari:
Well I think your very lucky, and also doing very well....would love to be good at dancing, singing, playing music,etc...
pehaps, like me, and maybe the artists mentioned in the message above..to be good at one thing... painting...(which is a skill not highly valued in our society) is hard...paticurly if you are woman and don't work for Disney....Just slog along in a home studio...
I love music, and dancing...Just wish I didn't have four left feet...

BReid
01-18-2004, 07:22 PM
Gee, my attempt at explaining that anyone, no matter where they're at, can feel discouraged as an artist missed the mark.

diamondbird
01-18-2004, 09:50 PM
Gee, my attempt at explaining that anyone, no matter where they're at, can feel discouraged as an artist missed the mark.


No...I don't think so, BReid....perhaps all artists feel this way individually...and so feel alone...hence the wine and drunkeness
thought that you expressed it very well...
divine discontent any-one?


:angel: :angel: :angel:

nbkitsune
01-18-2004, 11:09 PM
First off, kudos to starting this thread. It made me cry yet feel warm and fuzzy, two things that often don't happen at the same time for me.

Hugs for everyone.

I think I understand what you mean, I might be happy with a piece but then I'll see something 1000x better and I feel like - 'My lord I suck! I should burn the picture and scatter the ashes.' I think it's a natural tendency for artists, ne? We want to unify what we see in out minds with the physical world.

Sometimes I get fustrated. I get this glorious vision in acrylics in my head and when I try to paint this vision, I end up with a blob. I still keep at it though. It may make me tear my hair, it may make me cry, but I love making art. Any success (Financial or otherwise) is...A happy incentive.

Hey, what a coincidence! I'm an outcast too. It's not our fault that we artists see the world differently. I've tried to fit in, tried to be part of the crowd and it never worked. Instead now, I embrace my inner eccentric. So what if people think that I'm 'Weird' or 'Stupid'. Remember, the ones that percive the world differently are usually destined for greatness.Even if the greatness is only in your own circle of friends.

Somedays I do wonder if the grass is truely greener on the other side of the fence, then I think that grass that well manicured has to be astro-turf. :D

And in closing, as someone going through those oh-so-wonderful teenage years with bi-polar disorder, whomever said that the teenage years were the best years ever, should be found and dragged bodily around the world. Especially when you're in an environment of vicious rumor mills and high-school pettiness. Never fun.

I'm sorry if I seem almost air-headed in my response. I couldn't type up a totally serious reply to save my life. Please don't think I'm just making light of anything, 'cause I don't intend to.

diamondbird
01-19-2004, 01:55 AM
First off, kudos to starting this thread. It made me cry yet feel warm and fuzzy, two things that often don't happen at the same time for me.

Hugs for everyone.

I think I understand what you mean, I might be happy with a piece but then I'll see something 1000x better and I feel like - 'My lord I suck! I should burn the picture and scatter the ashes.' I think it's a natural tendency for artists, ne? We want to unify what we see in out minds with the physical world.

Sometimes I get fustrated. I get this glorious vision in acrylics in my head and when I try to paint this vision, I end up with a blob. I still keep at it though. It may make me tear my hair, it may make me cry, but I love making art. Any success (Financial or otherwise) is...A happy incentive.

Hey, what a coincidence! I'm an outcast too. It's not our fault that we artists see the world differently. I've tried to fit in, tried to be part of the crowd and it never worked. Instead now, I embrace my inner eccentric. So what if people think that I'm 'Weird' or 'Stupid'. Remember, the ones that percive the world differently are usually destined for greatness.Even if the greatness is only in your own circle of friends.

Somedays I do wonder if the grass is truely greener on the other side of the fence, then I think that grass that well manicured has to be astro-turf. :D

And in closing, as someone going through those oh-so-wonderful teenage years with bi-polar disorder, whomever said that the teenage years were the best years ever, should be found and dragged bodily around the world. Especially when you're in an environment of vicious rumor mills and high-school pettiness. Never fun.

I'm sorry if I seem almost air-headed in my response. I couldn't type up a totally serious reply to save my life. Please don't think I'm just making light of anything, 'cause I don't intend to.

Many hugs to you too, nbkitsune....You sound like a real artist!
Long live the inner eccentric....what wonderful/powerful/happy and hard journeys it spreads before us. The doors of vision.
Best of wishes...Is this serious enough??

:angel: :angel: :angel:

BReid
01-19-2004, 03:52 PM
Sometimes I wish the ups and downs never existed. It's easy for me to say that it's all part of being a creative person when I'm feeling okay, but when I'm really down there's nothing you want more than to trade it all in. I suppose just knowing so many others go through the same thing helps, and even if the specifics are different.

I really can identify with you nbkitsune, and you seem to have a good sense of humour too.