Monday, February 11, 2013

Same song and dance

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.)


  1. Keep that yearning to improve well kindled... It'll be the fire in your heart that'll turn you into the badass artist you're on the cusp of becoming :)

    Believe me, I can relate to feeling like you're soooo close to that breakthrough, and how hard it is to be patient. Hopefully, it'll happen to both of us soon!!! :)