I’m reading a lot about writing right now. A lot.
I used to write all the time. I’ve had short stories and poems published years and years ago. Not under my current name. It consumed me then as much as painting consumes me now.
The more I write these daily emails, the more I find myself writing in general. I guess it’s like riding a bike and I only needed to grab the bike and get going again.
So this thing I’m currently reading now talks about writing for the sake of writing. Because it’s a compulsion. A calling.
This is painting for me right now. And what writing is becoming again.
There’s a need to keep going even when it doesn’t pay off immediately. Even when there aren’t the likes. Even when I had only 13 followers in the beginning and all of them were my friends.
The need to paint is overwhelming at times. And sometimes irrational.
When I read about artists (or anyone creative) saying that they wait for inspiration before creating I know there’s something not right there. Because inspiration doesn’t strike when you’re standing around waiting for it. It sneaks up in the middle of a painting or writing.
It shows up when you least expect it. For me, when I stop to do laundry, I come up with the best ideas. But this only happens when I’m already churning out painting after painting. Never when I’m not creating.
Right now I’m sitting here with a half done set of paintings at my side knowing it’s going to be another day before I get to them again. I have a cold and my energy just isn’t there.
The thought of them unfinished feels like mini death to me.
I suppose if I needed to identify my calling, being creative is it. Painting and writing.
And if I were to give anyone advice, anyone who wanted to paint or write or create something, I’d say just do it.
Don’t wait for Muse; she is fickle.
Don’t put excuses in your way.
If you have a pencil and paper, start. Start before you’re ready. Start even if you think you’re no good.
Just do it.
Did you know?
Returning to portrait painting after a very long break was more difficult than I expected.
I had stopped painting portraits year ago because I found them too stressful. I was picking at every perceived mistake in all my work and it robbed me of the joy I got when painting.
Instead, I spent a long time painting landscapes and doing mix media work and reclaiming the joy of creating.
And then, one day, I just said fuck it and returned to my true love: portraits. It hasn’t always been an easy journey but it’s so damn worth it.