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What can I say? Life is complicated ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

My Love-Hate Relationship with Art – When Art Becomes Frustrating

My relationship with art is complicated.

Sometimes, I love creating. Getting lost in a piece and knowing intuitively where to place lines and colors.

Being so immersed in a painting that it’s almost meditative. Time passes without knowledge. And the end result is something that exudes confidence.

There are times when I love art my art.

But these moments are rare.

More often than not, I find myself fighting with my art. Frustrated because it doesn’t want to do what I tell it to. My hues repel one another. My inkwork is off beyond recovery. I leave a piece feeling unaccomplished rather than energized. And instead of time passing without notice, every minute is felt.

There are weeks where nearly everything I create is to my liking. And it makes me feel like I’m unstoppable.

Then there are weeks and months when my art lacks in just about every fundamental—and it makes me sad. Or there are weeks when I am sad, and my art suffers as a result.

Getting lost in your craft is an inspiring concept.

A concept. Because the reality—my reality—is that art hurts most of the time. It aches when a sketch is littered with anatomy issues that I can’t pinpoint. It upsetting when the colors I add to a piece that destroys the overall harmony. And it hurts to know that I’m not even remotely good at something I want to love so much.

It’s maddening, to the point where I just can’t get myself to practice.

So here I stand, dwelling in self-inflicted guilt when looking at my favorite paint set that hasn’t been touched for weeks. Feeling inadequate while glancing at my blank canvases next to my desk. Paralyzed by the thought of spending hours on something less than mediocre.

Artist block isn’t something that’s one-note. It’s not single problem with “Top Five” solutions. Artist block is so fundamentally varied.

The artist block I speak of is from the perspective of an amateur artist—not one who is frozen not because of lacking creative juices, or lacking emotional stability (not this time at least). Rather, I’m writing as someone who lacks in skill and confidence to begin anything creative.

And yes, I know it’s on me to break through this low ceiling. To stop overthinking and, as Nike preaches, “Just do it”. But when the simple act of looking at my student-grade watercolor set is nerve-inducing, I become too overwhelmed to make a move.

So I don’t.

Days, then weeks, and God-forbid months pass by, and I’m still stuck in the same place.

The worst part is, I begin to question whether or not art is for me.

Whether it’s something I should just give up. Whether a “fun” hobby is supposed to bring about all of this inner turmoil.

I begin to question if it’s worth fighting for.

So, I walk away.

But something always brings me back. A beautiful piece on Instagram. A podcast on creativity. A speed paint on YouTube. And it reminds me that all great things are worth fighting for.

So one day, I pick up my sketchbook and my pencil for the first time in a long time. And I draw. I sketch something that’s not great. Not even good. But it feels incredible. It makes me remember why I fell in love with art in the first place. And I know that this feeling won’t last, but while it’s in front of me, I pursue it.

This is my love-hate relationship with art.

It’s a never-ending cycle of feeling trapped, then overwhelmingly inspired—what kills me is that it’s not constant.

But in order for it to be, for once in my life, I need to dive in head first without reservations. To draw and paint like it’s my lifeline. Create like there’s no tomorrow without any regard for failed works. And as someone who refrains from letting go, this may very well be the largest challenge I’ll be facing in years.

I write to you as someone who is slowly in the process of exiting my latest lull. Here’s hoping it takes me somewhere incredible.

A/N: I wrote this entry about 8 months ago and, of course, failed to post it when it was relevant. I am no longer in an art slump—although find myself revisiting the thoughts shared in the post every few months.

Art is frustrating. And it takes a shit ton of time before it becomes seamless.

The reason I decided to post this regardless of how I’m currently feeling is because I thought it’d be relatable. To the handful of you who share these sentiments, hang in there.

You’ll figure it out. In the meantime, just hang in there.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. superbunny1007

    thank you for all of your art i no it dosent look like a lot but it helps me threw some of my hardest days

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