I've been feeling a little lost in my art direction these days- actually. I spent my high school years doing art all the bloody time- when I should have been doing my maths homework, in French class, and into the early hours of the morning at home. Straight after that, I went to university to study design and spent four hectic intense but fun years identifying as A Design Student.
And then university spat me out and suddenly I was just another girl with an expensive degree working a passionless job to pay the bills.
Considering my final year project was about creativity and identity, I feel like this year I've kinda lost both. There's been things I've enjoyed that I've made in my own time, and I've been lucky enough to work on some cool work for people along the way, but very little that really got me excited and proud. It didn't help that this whole year has been a real personal struggle for me, and people say to turn your struggle into creativity but that's not really how it works. For a really long time I didn't make anything new, couldn't find anything beautiful, and went into a space in my head where I wasn't good enough and everything was just so fucking hard. I'd compare myself to how everyone else I'd gone to uni was doing, how people I've never met online are making so many beautiful things and it got to me so much that I was doing fuck all with myself and all these people are out there getting better and killing it.
This is getting really bloody doom and gloom, BUT it's getting better! I got a new job, I've been working on my mental health and the next step is my physical health because this year I got hooked on sugary drinks, caffeine and nicotine (again, ugh.) Finally though, I'm ready to start making the kind of work I'm proud of and putting it out there with no self doubt.
In a burst of frustration the other night I stayed up until 3am (I finish work at 1am and it didn't actually take that long I'm just being dramatic) culling my Instagram feed from start to finish to only reflect the things I love, reflect me, and want to share more of. I used to just churn work out and share it with carefree abandon and I miss that, even when it wasn't good, because everything was practice and development. And I guess that's the best way to describe my work, is carefree. While I was struggling this year, I was anxious to the point of being in constant pain, and my head was full of questions, I stopped making work because I stopped being carefree.
Past me just wanted to share what she found beautiful and what was on her mind. She didn't care if people liked it or not, she didn't care if it would make her money, she created because she loved it.
It's refreshing to reflect on where you used to be and what you used to do. I can see what worked for me, what simply wasn't me at all, and realised that actually, over the years I've created so much that I can be proud of. The years of realistic drawings and paintings, the experimental angsty collage years, the try hard lettering years, the years I was making for the sake of making money- but even then there's elements I can look at and be like okay that LOOKS dope but it means nothing to you.
I'm not reinventing myself, rather leaving behind the old so I can start a fresh with what I've learned- like I've done with my blog, my Instagram, and parts of my life and myself. I'm excited for whatever comes next. I want to paint more- I love painting pots for my plants to live in, furniture, walls. I want to care less about the finished product and just start making and see where it ends up. I want to mix up all the medias I love- paint, photography, words, to document the things I make and do.