Monday, October 1, 2012

Halfway point

Yesterday, I did my 92nd drawing of this project, hitting the exact halfway point in the six month timeline. It's really difficult to talk about What I've Accomplished or What My Goals Are, because part of this project is that it's not terribly goal-oriented: I'm drawing what I love to get back to the root of it, and that's about it in terms of direction. I can already see more confidence and ease in my drawings, and they're flowing (HAH) more easily from me, but what have I really done? I can't say.

This was a very difficult summer for me in terms of my art, apart from the IMC. There were weeks, full weeks at a time during which this project was the only thing that kept me from being entirely without art, and that is sobering at best and terrifying at worst to realize. This is supposed to be my life, and I simply could not create art that wasn't leaning on the crutch of this project.

It's something I need to remember, this comfort I derive from structure and how it saved me from falling away from art. A lot went on this summer: I graduated from school, moved, got a job, and spent a week at the IMC (which was as emotionally exhausting as it was inspirational). I reeled in the knowledge that school was over, and I can't stress enough how hard it hit: the four years I spent at SVA were easily the best years of my life to-date, and formative in ways that I'll be realizing for years to come.

In the depths of August, when the heat was awful and all of my younger SVA friends could talk of nothing but the coming school year, all I could see was my failure. I was useless; I was a waste of the potential that teachers and role models said they saw in me. I was selfish in my melancholy, seeing only my lack of art, while 'all' my friends and classmates were working and succeeding - and to add insult to injury, the one thing I was working on, Holding the Pass, refused to come together, and the drawing taunted me with how good it almost was. It fed into one huge loop, and while nowhere near as toxic as some of the mental black holes I fell into my junior year, it sure didn't help things.

Through this, my project kept going. I drew every day because I had to, because Iain McCaig had looked at my art and believed in the beginnings he saw, because I'd said I would: and through everything, I have. I've drawn on trains because travel was the only free time I could scrape together; I've drawn on 10- and 30-minute breaks at work; I've drawn at friends' apartments because we were hanging out, and I've bailed on hanging out because I've had to draw. I've drawn drunk and I've drawn tired and I've even experienced drawing while falling asleep, and none of this is exceptional except for the fact that it pulled me through the plummet after school.

As far as I can tell, I'm more or less back on my feet: it's fall and I've pretty much adjusted to my new life, and I'm finally painting again. I have three months left on the project, though, and as much as some days I want nothing more than to say 'fuck it' and go to sleep an hour earlier, I'm glad. I have more to do with this, I think.

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