It’s that time again. Firing up the ol’ blog. It been a while! Despite posting the odd thing on Instagram in recent months I’ve really been taking time out from having much of an internet presence this past year. I’ve had quite a lot going on but I’ll level with you – mostly I got pretty overwhelmed with this hyper accelerated digital vortex we find ourselves swirling around in.
I’ve heard it said that blogging is dead is in the age of social media but the more I get frustrated with the digital world, the more I feel driven back towards wanting my own space, a platform where I have the control.
A part of me loves deactivating, deleting, minimising, wiping the slate. I start to feel trapped by this epitaph of activity the internet tries to keep on me. I prefer to think of the creative online space more like a sketchbook where you can tear out pages and paint over passages. Destroy to create is very much a part of my process. I get excited by a resurgence, a comeback, the impetus of a fresh start. It’s what I do..
I’ve had questions..“are you still doing art? have you stopped drawing/painting?” an inactive internet presence somehow signals concern but the truth is I’ve been making more than ever, just in different ways, for a different audience, sometimes just for my eyes only. I find myself thinking ‘This is how art used to be’ a sketchbook would be a place that no one had to see. A place where you could progress privately without pressure. I’ve slowed down though. I’m still doing some portrait commissions but I like to take my time over them. I have no problem telling people it will take a month to complete the work nowadays. I’ve come to realise I don’t have to keep up with the insane pace of the internet but that I do need to find a balance and allot some time during the week for internet-y activities.
So – I can tell you now – I moved cities and started an M.A course in Fine Art in September. It took me a while to find my feet and get my living situation stable in a new city. I really needed to move from where I was struggling to keep my art business going out of a small single bedroom. It was important to take action to improve my art, not just by improving my skills but by improving my life! I applied for a Masters and was unexpectedly accepted into a new chapter.
It’s been quite a relief to develop privately and create for my own personal development on the course rather than for the eyes of the public. I’d think to myself “I don’t make these drawings and paintings for likes, comments, the ego strokes and followers…I make for enjoyment! because…I simply have to. Honestly – I would swap a 1000 ‘likes’ for one piece of genuinely useful critique or feedback.
We have to be wary when art becomes work or study that that childlike joy that got us creating in the first place is not taken from it. It can sneak up on you if you are freelancing or thinking about where the next commission is coming from. Or when you are spending too much time in the anatomy books or in pursuit of skill. You can end up with ‘study sickness’ and creatively limit yourself.
Even after saying all this art is ultimately a two way process of creation and experience by an audience. We can only spend so long making in isolation! So the time has come to open myself out again and make myself vulnerable. That’s a big part of doing art isn’t it? I have a variety of stuff to share over the the next few posts and I keep thinking of a quote a wise man one said “Without people, you’re nothing”.
To keep things short and succinct here I will be discussing my progress further in future posts. I’ve decided that this blog will be useful for a variety of different types of things. No images this time – some will be like that because I want to practice typing stuff. Writing is a part of my practice and I want to write about anything I feel like, maybe I can even push into topics beyond the world of art. In future posts I’ll try to speak about starting said course and navigating this new path, trying to find a new direction in my work..
I’ve scheduled time to update this here website over the coming months and you should press subscribe at the bottom of the page to get my latest blog posts sent to you by email. I’ll be updating the galleries and have started to make a resources page which I will continue to update to help out my fellow artists on their journey. So check that out and bookmark it for later. In the meantime I aim to post weekly on Instagram and I’m open for commissions and will be listing some small works for sale. Until next time. I’ll just leave it at that.