It's been a while since I last let my emotions govern what and how I paint. The reason I stopped doing that probably has to do with the fact that it always ends up looking like shit in the end.
For the past few years I've taken to reserving my feelings as much as possible, treating it as though it is non-existent. I absolutely detest talking about it. Even now, I'm hesitant to write what I'm about to write because at the back of my mind I know that there are bigger, more important problems people should be concerned about and that the bullshit I'm dealing with pales in comparison. I know people with real problems, and my stupid shit is nothing in comparison. However, being aware of how insignificant my problems are does not change the fact that they're still there and that they are problematic not just to me, but for me.
I feel like garbage a lot of the time. Absolutely worthless. I'm overwhelmed by this unshakable sensation that I've failed in every aspect of my life. Nothing has been turning out right these past few months. I've been flat out rejected by an art school despite trying my hardest and damnedest to get in, I've been told I can't graduate this year, my employers think I'm crap at my job even though I try really hard to please them. My art's getting shittier by the month, I'm getting stupider, fatter, and uglier, inside and out. I'm single and horribly, horribly lonely (yes, I fucking admit it, okay?). My grades are undoubtedly shit, regardless of how hard I've worked. I am the butt of all jokes and am rarely taken seriously. Nobody really appreciates anything I do for them and I'm treated like a doormat half the time. There was rarely a time where I didn't think of just ending it all. No matter how hard I try, it seems I am destined to make an ass of myself and fail completely. Watching others around me prosper where I've failed makes this realisation all the more palpable.
I keep getting the feeling that everyone's moving ahead of me and I'm stuck in this dirty ditch trying desperately to clamber out before falling right back onto the ground again. Everyone keeps asking me what I'm planning to do after I'm done with studies, and I'd have to lie to them because I'm so ashamed to tell them that I just don't know. Those of whom I tell the truth to look at me with this weird look, as though they are confused as to how I could possibly be this clueless about the direction of my life. This is part of the reason I hate uni so much. Everyone I talked to seemed to know what the hell they wanted to do. EVERYONE. They all had goals and visions of the future. And they'd all give me that same goddamn look when I tell them I don't know what I want to do. The same goddamn look that should be reserved for when they are watching someone fart into a chicken's mouth.
I feel as though I've lost my identity. Like with each year, with each failure, the more I doubt who I am. I used to think that I was an artist through and through, but the more I look at my pieces the more I realise that they're soulless. Sure they may look nice at times, but they lack the heart and emotion, the humanness of its very conception. Perhaps the hollowness of each piece was an expression of the hollowing out of my own sense of being - who the hell knows. I mean I certainly don't. But it's disturbed me because I thought art was the one thing I wasn't an incompetent asshole at doing. This lack of emotionality in the pieces devoid them of any personality whatsoever and would only be considered art in the most superficial of terms. I realised this needed to change. I was tired of failing. Of being shit at every aspect of my life. Of being told no. This is the one thing that no one can destroy. This is the one thing that no one can fucking take away from me. This is the one goddamn thing that is in my control, and damn it, I will control it. I will make it good. I will work my ass off for this and I will not let my ability wither away and die. I want to paint from the heart and soul. I want to stop feeling like shit about ONE thing in my life, and that happens to be the one thing my life revolves around. The other problems may still linger, but as long as I have one thing under my belt, I think I'll manage a bit better.
So this piece is the beginning of a new phase. I don't know if you can tell but I channelled a lot of anger and pain into this piece, but it's also enveloped by this sense of acceptance, and maybe a little bit of apathy. Let me know what you think.
Man I feel like a dick and an idiot for not seeing this. :'C *SO MANY FUCKING HUGS*
I always thought your stuff was full of soul myself. They just seemed to speak volumes and held so much emotion. But I know it's a different street when you look at something as an artist and not a viewer and all you can see are the flaws, so I won't harp on that. That and art is fluid and with every new piece you do you either see more improvement or more flaws and blah blah blah artistic ramblings go here.
Life is about experience really. The only way you can fail at life is to give up. And Am? You have far from failed. In fact you are looking pretty damn successful from where I'm sitting. ;u; Just right now you are going through some stupid shit (and trust me, you aren't missing out on not getting into the art course in my opinion). I know teachers I had who didn't know what they wanted to do until they were 30, and even then they were unsure. So don't feel upset or down man, and if you need someone to talk to just remember I'm always here for you. C:
And remember - you are damn beautiful Am. You are witty and always have snappy comebacks, and are never dry of an idea, be it insightful, hilarious, or creative. You are worth so much more than what you think people view you as. Never forget that. God I hope that doesn't sound stupid or cheesy or trivialising anything BLAH ;A; Just know that I'm here and you are fantastic in everyway okay?
Hey there Sharleen, I'm here for you I believe at hard times like this it's really important to find at least one person (a friend or a family member) who will listen to you and to whom you may vent as much and as freely as possible. I know how you feel, and it ain't easy going through a tough period, but you're strong, you'll make it! I believe you will. Pay no attention to those people, they're idiots for making you feel bad about being unsure of what to do after graduation. Making such a decision is never easy! You may be interested in some other jobs besides the ones that include art. One can easily change their mind, I know a lot of kids from my school (high school for design) who, one might say, WASTED four years studying this and then all of a sudden decided that they want to do something else. I don't think it's wasted, not at all.
We spend all of our lives learning. So you see, it's okay to change your mind, and when you don't want to change your mind, it's okay to have a hard time coping when everything seems gloomy from time to time. There will always be hard times, but there will always be cheerful, joyful times full of bliss, too. It's simply inevitable.
And urgh, I know exactly what you mean by "weird looks". Just ignore them. I hate it when people look at me weirdly too.
All in all, if it'll make you feel better, draw as much as you can! Find someone you can talk to, try to focus on other things, enjoy the small things, and if all else fails - you know I'm here for you!
I, for one, really like this one! It speaks to me...it's like you were so angry...you wanted to project the absolute opposite onto your piece, making her look incredibly calm and tranquil. But, I do sense tension and frustration with all the little jagged, hurried lines on top of her head. Almost as if it has consumed her so much from within, that now it's starting to show on the surface too. Don't ever, ever quit drawing! I'm always excited to see what you will come up with next!
Well, it has more to do with the false projection of serenity and calm when deep inside there's this confined manifestation of turmoil waiting to erupt. I guess that was what I was going through at the time. Trying to keep my cool, trying to project this calmness that I didn't really feel on the inside. There's also themes of the crucifixion if you're willing to look for it.
But yeah, thank you for your kind and wise words, Purple. You've made an excellent point, that we're all learning one way or another and that it's a constant experience throughout our lives. And yes, I believe I do have the strength to cope - I just needed to finally accept my feelings instead of pretending that everything was hunky dory all the time. I think that was what I was struggling with the most.
Yes, it gives off that vibe, it does. Good work! Ohh, crucifixion, eh? Lemme seeee. -takes another look-
No problem and you're absolutely welcome, Amateur. Any time. I'm here for you, just whistle (or give me a hug? ) Yes, you've just given some pretty good advice yourself! Whenever you feel down, one of the things you can do is to rationalize the situation, meaning that it's completely normal for our lives to get difficult and hard at times. Thinking that it's just a passing phase (as it normally is, especially for naturally happy and strong people, and i highly believe you're one of them) can also help you calm down since then you know it's all gonna be alright and normal again at some point. Also don't be afraid to open up and talk about your feelings to someone you trust! It's a great way to deal with stress.
Hi there, I know you don't know me, but I think everyone feels a little like you feel. Getting it out is helpful, having people sympathize is helpful, but ultimately it's you who needs to make you feel better and that is the hardest thing ever. So I'm going to try to help you to help you.
There is no time limit to success, you can become whatever you want whenever you want. I went to art school, am I doing that now, no, am I trying to get back to it, yes, will it take me a long time, yes, am I ok with that, no, but will I keep working, yes. It will take you a while to figure out what you want to do, and that's ok, the people you know who know what they want to do will change that in 5 year (ok maybe not every one of them some people really do figure it out young) but there's nothing wrong with being indecisive. It actually gives you the opportunity to become good at a lot of things instead of just one.
At work, talk to your boss, if you're working your ass off and getting no recognition, you have to stand up for yourself, even if they can't afford to give you a raise let them know how unappreciated you feel and they should start treating you with more respect. I've recently gotten into HR (yes I'm 29 and am still figuring my shit out, but I can draw, do massage, customer support and a whole lot of other things), and feeling that you're being treated with respect and are appreciated is a huge thing in the workplace, it's one of the biggest reasons for people quitting, so if your boss won't listen go to an HR person, they need to know that your boss doesn't listen and how you feel to make the company a better place to work in.
Please message me if you need to talk, your art is fantastic no matter what the art schools say (I've had teachers tell me I would never sell a piece and art wasn't my thing, I proved them wrong on both counts). This piece especially is fabulous, I think it does really reflect how you feel. Ultimately as long as your art can act as an outlet, and/or make you happy, keep doing it, screw everyone else, they aren't you.
Hi, Zombiepan. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this message to me, especially considering the fact that you don't even know me. I think that's especially kind of you to do so and I'm very grateful for it
You see, the problem isn't so much that it'll take me a long time to finish my studies (I think that's pretty much a given when you're studying for a degree), but that my parents (particularly my father) can't seem to let up that I will need time to finish the degree. It was very upsetting for them to hear that I couldn't graduate this year (it has nothing to do with me failing or anything like that, by the way - the reason is far more arbitrary and stupid than I could ever imagine and I don't wish to bring it up) and even now I'm being berated by them about it. They wanted me to move on straight to the working world once I was finished, which is ideal for everyone I guess, but the problem is my undergrad degree is virtually useless. Even if I did graduate early, I'd still need another 3 or 4 years before I could land a regular job in the field. It's just..it's complicated. What's even more annoying is the fact that I don't feel the field is right for me. I'm doing okay in it but compared to others I'm terrible. And I can't see myself in that career - there's nothing appealing about it now that I know what it's about. In fact, it was part of the reason I was feeling so down in the first place. Ah.... don't ask, I don't really want to open -that- particular can of worms.
I really want to do art instead of this other degree. In fact, I actually got accepted into an art school a couple of days ago. It may not have been my first choice but it's still decent. My parents are still unhappy about the decision but the point is it's -my- decision, not theirs. I'm in control. This was the first time in a long time I had any sense of control with what goes on in my life and it feels fucking good, I must say. I've got it all planned out, too. So there's not much to worry about, there.
With worrrkk, that's another complicated issue. You see, I'm a sub. Subs don't get much say at workplaces, and in fact, the full-time staff seem to dislike us more than anything else although I'm not even sure why (it probably has to do with the fact that I'm a newcomer, and if Psychology's taught me anything, groups tend to distrust newcomers). I work at different centres, so I'm never assigned to one sole workplace, and with each one there's different rules to learn, different people to deal with, different procedures, hell, even different payments. So, every time I work, I'd need to learn all these things the minute I walk in there, and the full-time staff almost never seem to grasp this and expect me to know pretty much everything the moment I step into the premises. They get annoyed when I start asking them questions about procedures and half the time, aren't even willing to teach me. When I screw it up, even a little bit, I get berated like crazy. Oh man, they just LOVE that, zeroing in on every mistake I make and ignoring everything I do right. Now, imagine dealing with this over and over and over again every time you work. What would that do to your self-esteem? I would say it wouldn't be doing it much good. It doesn't help that the subs get the dirtiest work on the premises. The full-time staff WILL without a doubt take full advantage of the situation and will have you crawling around the place cleaning up after them. This job isn't easy. There's no one to talk to about these things. Even if I do talk to the manager or something, they will not care. In fact, they'd just find another sub that would do the work without complaint. So you see, it's a lot more complicated than just going up to your superior and asking them for some respect and a pay-rise. The problem about this job, though, is that I love it. Taking all the bullshit aside, it is a decent-paying job, and I enjoy working with kids, so I don't really want to leave. I'd be willing to endure the abuse just so I could stay on. It's just a little taxing after a while, you know?
I could go on and on and on about the crap I'm dealing with, but honestly, I still have it better than a lot of other people so I shouldn't be complaining. It's hard to make yourself feel better based on that fact, though, especially when it feels like everything is working against you.....which, of course isn't true at all. Anyway, thanks for you advice and for caring in the first place.
I truly hope things get better for you, and I'm also fully confident that it will. Being a sub or temp in any job sucks, especially when there's little chance of becoming perm. But knowing that you like what you do is a huge help. It sounds like you teach or work with kids, I think having an art degree will only help that.
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