Accepting Fate

Francis Bacon in his Reece Mews studio, May 1970. Photo by Michael Pergolani.

Francis Bacon in his Reece Mews studio, May 1970. Photo by Michael Pergolani.

I know more than most how frustrating it is to pick up a new project or interest and fiddle with it for a while only to drop it again because the stress of "making a living" cuts short my perseverance and imagination with this new thing. While I love spending my time engaging in this new and exciting thing I run into a wall of fear. I allow that fear to prevent me from pushing through from interest to excellence. Then that interest dies down and I fall into a sort of depression for a while until the next new and exciting thing pops into my field of vision.

There is one creative interest that has never entirely fallen away. There have been periods where it has been all-consuming and life-(and money)-giving; and there have also been periods where it disappeared completely from my weekly schedule. Illustration and other visual arts revolving around graphic mark-making have been a standard in my life since I was eight years old.

There are few things (and often nothing) more energizing than the thrill of splashing ink down into an energetic and lively line, or filling a white page with brilliant colors. Doing this makes me happy. By that I mean that it changes the way I see the world around me. My every life circumstance takes on a new form and color and possibilities spring out of impossibilities. It sometimes reminds me of that passage in the Bible known as the Beatitudes.

And sometimes drawing and painting depresses me. And by that I mean the actual act of trying to draw something in pencil and pen and paint can throw me into a dark hole where I feel powerless to do anything from picking up the brush again to making a cup of coffee, to smiling. This is something I have processed through and will talk more about in this space in future posts.

Smart people probably say something like, "If there is anything in your life you can imagine doing instead of (insert critcism-soaked, performance-based craft) then go do that other thing. Otherwise I guess you have to accept the fact that you are screwed... You will be doomed to being an artist.

But take heart in the knowledge that you are not alone. I'd like to walk alongside you through this if you will let me.