We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
This new path of art-making was one I had never even considered. In fact if you had said “One day you will call yourself an artist.” I would have laughed in your face.
Today is one of those days where I feel overwhelmed. I am preparing a submission for a competition, prepping drawings for a members group show, and I just read about another show for emerging artists. The deadlines all converge, and I realize that as I work to grow my artistic career, the challenges that go along with it grow as well. Even more so as there is no formal training for this aspect of being an artist. This is learn as you go, and I am much more of a “forewarned is forearmed”, “knowledge is power”, plan the heck out of everything kind of person.
Anxiety has always been a part of my life. Thankfully most of the time in a form that is manageable. As I sit here and look at my to do list, and also think about finding time to get some actual drawing done, I feel it creeping up on me. I have spent the last few days trying to ignore it, usually by checking out my Facebook, but it will not be ignored. So it is time to embrace it. The anxiety is there because I am doing things that are so out of my comfort zone; putting a face to the name, writing blog posts, putting my art out there for all to see, to comment and to judge. I am always worrying about whether the choices I am making are going to help or hinder.
In these kinds of moments, books are a great resource or inspiration. A more general “Get out there and do it!” book is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Another book I often reread is Coaching the Artist Within by Eric Maisel. It’s a bit Oprah-ey in sections but a great overall “Get over yourself and get out there” book for artists (but in a much nicer way).
The diptych image in this post, Overwhelm/Overcome is part of my graduating solo show coming up in October. The inspiration comes from my own experiences with chronic illness. The catalyst for change in my life, the illness, is still present. What changed is my understanding, knowledge and acceptance, which allowed me to find a way to manage and live with my new reality. My anxiety this week is a part of that change. I am pushing myself and it is challenging. There are days when I just want to go back to the safe space of taking classes and not showing my work to anyone, but then I remember the rewards of this new path and I push on. Today this is how I get from Overwhelm to Overcome.
Image: ©Deann Stein Hasinoff Overwhelm/Overcome 2016