So I setteled in front of my ancient paperweight two days ago, I mean computer, to begin a design for a new site. I had decided that I was going to put all my illustrations into a website and begin some promotion to get some illustration work. I was excited. Gung ho. Perhaps even giddy when I began. I emailed friends for moral support (hi friends- you know who you are!) I did comps and sent them off and got good feedback. Then. Well, then I began sifting through illustrations. Of children, of animals, of things, of posters. I got very, very overwhelmed. Then came the doubt. “What the hell do I think I am doing? Who do I think I am to be able to do this? There are only 1.2 billion other artists better than me out there, this is truly an exercise in pointlessness.” Ahh…the wonderful, supportive artist’s brain. So after another hour and thoroughly deciding that perhaps that brochure I am working on that advertises becoming a medical coding specialist is worth looking into, I stopped. Hmmmm, no. Maybe full time work is in my future? Hmmm, not without a fight. And really, give up the constant not knowing where money is coming from? It is my own personal adrenaline rush. Really, who needs comfort and security when you can have clients who may or may not remeber to submit your invoice?
Ok, so what to do when you feel like a fraud and you are getting burned out on life? (Just when you thought you were FINALLY at a turning point?) Well. You wallow a bit. You cry a bit. You call your kids and hear their voices. You go for a run with the dogs and just kinda allow the ick to work it’s way through your system one more damn time. Aren’t I due for at least a WHOLE day of feeling strong? C’mon! Ok, so I do all that and at least feel a bit better. But now I have this half done website. So I hunker down and…don’t do it. Not ready yet. Fine. Then out of nowhere I feel it. I have been saying for months that there is something inside of me almost ready to come out. New ideas that have been just sitting waiting for the right time. I tried to force the ideas out before but they were not ready. Two days ago after hours at the computer, then a few depressing hours of feeling like a total loser, the ideas came. So I turned on the music (Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald for those that want the background sound) and painted. Painted and painted and painted. For hours and hours and hours. I have been painting for two days now and will be painting after I finish a quick set of brochure revisions. And get this folks: I am painting them for me. FOR ME. Not to sell, not to market, not for anything except that for some reason these beautifully simple ideas are coming right out of my heart through my paintbrush onto canvas. I have painted over old paintings, used new canvas slated for pet portraits. I can’t stop. I finish one and before I am done I am doing another in my head. I am not sure how long it will last, but I don’t care. Because it is just for me. It has been so long since I painted just for the joy, just because I had to paint. The utter and complete joy of losing track of time while I paint. This does not solve any of my other problems at all. But it does make me feel better and it does make me feel stronger. And perhaps, maybe I am not the big giant fraud I think I am. At least not in this moment. Ask me again in an hour. 😉