I think the only thing I’ve ever self-identified with is being an artist.
I mean I’m a bunch of other stuff as well: sister, daughter, girlfriend, tax-payer, sports fan, runner, college graduate…you get the idea. But as a child, an angst-y teen, and an adult one thing has always rang true to me, the want and desire to create art.
I read a blog post on NPR last week that summed it up nicely.
Now I don’t have a particular moment with one work like Mr. Krulwich describes, but I do know that feeling. You want to fall into the world of whatever is speaking to you. You’re inspired and want to create something yourself.
I used to think that if I read too much that I would have nothing to say myself since every story has essentially already been written. I didn’t pursue film studies for a similar reason (also, study of film kills the magic.) I’d write (bad) poetry for myself. I’d paint to my own standards (no black!). I took pictures.
Technology has always changed and influenced art. Finger painting is improved upon by brushes, tools changed sculpture and the printing press revolutionized the written word.
Modern naysayers are always lambasting change…no matter the era.
I live and work in the world of computers, digital photography, Adobe Photoshop and blogging. I love what I do but sometimes miss the pencil, the darkroom and writing in a notebook on a bench in the park. We tell ourselves that we can work anywhere (cellphones! laptops!!) but I find increasingly that where I choose to work is at a desk, in a climate controlled environment surrounded by (and looking into) artificial light.
The Renaissance artists are rolling over in their graves.
I can make excuses as to why I work the way I do. At work is pretty obvious, they want me there to do my work. But at home I’ve turned away from a lot of the things that have always made me happy, mainly drawing and painting. When I moved in 5 years ago I had grand plans of making the back room into an art space. I have so much art supplies and even small scale sketches of things I’ve been meaning to create for years. I recently bought gouache paints and yet haven’t made the time to actually create.
Maybe carving out time to create is something I should work on.
I remember when my mom decided to take piano lessons when I was in high school, or take up watercolor when I was in college. I think it’s kind of the same thing. Only instead of wanting to try brand new things I want to reconnect with old things.
Here’s to creating.