Monday, August 07, 2006

Finding my Voice

Originally uploaded by m.Lee.
Things have been bad, very bad. Depression has gotten a hold on me and I am not creating. I look at the tools that once gave me such great pleasure and have no desire to use them. What I do have is the desire to want to use them again and that gives me hope. Even though I don't feel very creative and when I force myself to start something I don't follow through I still think about art all the time. I still consider myself an artist, these things happen. I am getting better at taking my meds and working on my depression and trying not to dwell on wanting things to be like they were when I was making 30 pieces a week. When I started I made art out of love and the need to do it, then I got obsessed with sales and started to sell out and make work that was more likely to sell. When I realized that I stopped.

This weekend I made two sales and they felt like a nice bonus. I haven't been listing or promoting at all and I don't really care to. The art needs to come first. I don't need to make art to eat and I should take advantage of that.

I picked up this book; The Artist's Way, a book that I have been tempted by before but didn't buy because of the spirituality aspect and because I was having no problem creating. It is a twelve week lesson plan. One of the things that I am doing for it is writing three pages of whatever every morning and it is really hard to do. Depression makes me want to sleep not write. But I am doing my best to stick with it as best as I can and it I will improve. I treated myself to a Moleskin notebook because they are the best I have ever used. I have added sketching daily to my program. They don't have to be good but I need to try and eventually something will come out of them.

I have been thinking a lot about my insecurities and about my successes as well. One big insecurity is that my art is too pretty and not serious enough. I love my work, I really do, but it is more about the process of making it than some great meaning. I don't have a political or social agenda with it, that just isn't me. It will never be hip. My process is pretty nontraditional but nobody knows that. I know that a lot of artists and art people would and do look down on my art as being too commercial. Sometimes I let this get me down, but I have to do what I want to do and forget other people.

Now something good about myself. I realized that in the past year I have made over 200 pieces of art and have art hung in homes and businesses all over the world. Not bad for a girl that started doing this a year ago! So what if I am taking a break right now really. I will be okay in the end because the drive and talent is still there.

I am going to try and blog more often again. Not for promotion but for myself.


sunshinealways said...

While reading your post I kept thinking of how your art actually inspired me to begin using my creativity. Your artwork is special and very unique. The colors, the techniques and final piece of artwork are a result of your creativity even if some of it is not traditional. It still is beautiful.

Bobbi C. said...

Hi Marissa,

First of all, just know that your work is beautiful, no matter why you do it. I also struggle with the need to create, but also the need to sell. I'm working on that for's not easy.

The book, The Artist's Way, will help you think about process and not product or sales so much. It's not terribly religious, I think anyone would get a lot out of it. I actually bought the book five years before I would sit down to read it. Now, I've re-read it several times. Everytime I see something new in it for me.

Hang in there, and do what makes you happy. I don't have to sell my work to eat, either, and that's a blessing.

Bobbi C.
(from the Baren list, Etsy, and all over the place)

Claire said...

I know exactly what you mean about the fear that your art is too pretty but not serious. I've been struggling with the same fears myself, but I keep telling myself that as long as I love what I'm doing and am challenged and engaged by it, I'm making good art. Your woodcuts are beautiful and the unique process you use for them only makes them more interesting.

I'm a poor college student right now, but someday I'd love to buy one of your prints. Your images of trees are especially lovely.

I hope you're able to work through this rough spot.

~Claire (from WetCanvas)