My art is making me want to punch walls.
Don't get me wrong - I know the two paintings I just finished
were huge steps forward for me in a lot of different ways, and I actually like both. I'm very
very proud of them and the growth they represent; pruning down my
portfolio as savagely as I did was especially rewarding when they
slotted in like I'd planned it that way; I have momentum for the first
time since spring semester of my senior year of college, and what I'm
working on now really excites me -
- but I feel like I'm stuck. My pieces are good, but they're not good enough, and the polish they need is simultaneously so close I can see
it and just out of my reach.
It's the 'almost there' that's killing me. Every single portfolio review I've gotten since Illuxcon in Novembers,
from ADs as well as artists, both in person and online, has been a
variation on that theme. And I know it's true, apart from the weight of
so many experienced voices lending it credence: I'm so close to
it that I'm beginning to stumble across it over the course of the
paintings, in unrepeatable little moments of things clicking together. There is one square inch of Holding the Pass, for example, that is finished
to the level that I'm struggling to reach right now, and I'll be
damned if I could tell you what I did or how.
As much as I hate my own whining, there's a reason I'm taking the time to write it down and share it. This type of hissy fit has historically been the herald to my big artistic advances, and recording it helps to take out of the loop in my head and calm me down some. I know this is me struggling at the end of another plateau, I know that all I need to do is keep working and be more aware of my artistic decisionmaking, I know that the way out is through...
It just doesn't make it any easier to read email after email that tells me that I'm almost there.
(It also doesn't make it easier to accept that I'm no longer a student, that I'm a peer, and as a peer and not a student my place in asking for critique has shifted under my feet after over four years of doing it.)