I thought a few days off after the art show, Players in Pleasantville, would be plenty before I dove back into art but it wasn’t. I’m certain many artists experience the “Post Show Drop” and it’s not very easy to manage. For those who don’t know this, it’s basically depression after the high of planning, prepping and executing a big event. If you’ve done one, you know. If not, try doing something big and slip into such shoes — or take my word for it.
I expected it this year because I’ve experienced it every year I’ve had a show. Though I still fell into the depression of it, I managed pretty well to hold myself above water because either through experience or simple fear, I knew I was important to keep my head up. I talked to other artists for their thoughts and advice and I took care to prepare myself for the fall so that knowing it was coming, I wouldn’t get caught buried in an avalanche but sort of roll with it instead.
One of my art mentors asked me about the show when I visited his studio a few weeks ago. I told him how well it went and how satisfied I was but how I was feeling a little lost and down from the aftermath. I barely finished my sentence when he said, “just keep painting”.
So much energy goes into a show and the focus becomes a narrow line of thought: nothing else matters. It has to at some point if it is to manifest. The show itself was wonderful. It was more successful than I hoped for and I got everything out of it I wanted and needed to feel good about it. It’s the first time that has happened. To me “successful” means that 1) I made it happen in the first place 2) I had a great audience turn out thanks to great PR and marketing 3) essentially everyone who showed up (as far as I know) truly loved the artwork, some fully moved by it 4) MOST IMPORTANT: I received almost no bullshit judgment about my art and that, I’m sure, is because I eliminated the word “porn” from view, so I experienced more positive than negative situations in comparison to other shows (I do live in the south and I know this would be possibly of lesser importance if I lived out west) 5) I received quality feedback that was super helpful to my forward motion as an artist AND while not the point, I gained hundreds of new Instagram followers. Ideally successful would have been an art sale but selling is rarely my point, just the bonus.
Creating art for me is more like unveiling the story that somehow mirrors, discloses, challenges or explains my thoughts or Self at a particular point in life. Most of my art is a timeline of thoughts, events, emotions, visions, witnessings, knowledge I gained, fantasies or dreams and the majority of my paintings, say 95%, have deeper meanings than I ever disclose. If anything, a large portion of my artwork is a window into my unconscious mind and sometimes it’s easy to go in there while other times it’s difficult — especially right after an art show. I don’t need depression time but I do need decompression time!
Art creation is an uncovering of what is deep within. I don’t paint to paint and please. I paint to discover and understand. Sometimes I don’t want to understand, discover or know, so I don’t paint. If I do force myself, I make “pretty pictures” because they are like those mind numbing TV shows that have no true purpose but they chill you out after a tough day. I hate wasting time so much of last year’s downtime was spent working on my technical drawing skills and it was time well spent. My work greatly improved, and that was the consistent compliment I got throughout the show from my returning audience. (Thank you!)
Many times I don’t feel like I have much control over the painting outside of the technical components. As I said before on my blog somewhere, I don’t choose my art so much as it chooses me. It creates itself from me, as I only become a medium of the message and the message is from my unconscious mind and not until I am half way through, if not at the title stage, do I realize what the painting is trying to tell me and only then can I fit it like a puzzle piece into the schemata of the life I’m actualizing. Sometimes I get this "WTF feeling because I didn’t see or get it sooner and other times, it’s just awesome and delightful in its “Whoa, I get it” click moment. A few times it has been shocking or simply stunning to realize X because I painted Y. My art is my own language and through art I get to see what is going on inside my head and then make sense of it. It’s not always about me specifically, but it’s about what I pick up from the external world, process and then spew out in visuals to understand for myself and for others to interpret and judge.
After the show I really was just too exhausted to care about painting primarily because I wasn’t ready to dive back into that unspoken space. I’ve had some sleep, reflection and healing and I’m a good way into a new painting I hope to show in the next month. It’s not an erotic painting but it’s one that has impact enough to make you think and this time, I want you to think. I want you to think about time and what it really means to you, to us, to the very core meaning of our lives. That’s a prelude.
I’m very grateful to all those who made it to my show and those who followed along on Instagram if they weren’t in town. It was fun and eye opening. I met many wonderful people and was told some incredible things about my talents, visions and capabilities. I mean, really awesome, positive and encouraging things. I’m deeply touched and grateful. I recall bedtime after opening night and feeling totally overwhelmed from compliments. I decided I need to do several shows a year! LOL The high is almost as good as sex and so the adventure is worth continued effort. Therefore, I finally hit the oil paints again, which I still don’t like working with but feel a desire to master better.
I’ll be back soon with details on updates to my website and the new piece I’m working on which is turning out different than my original concept. I filmed and photographed the process of various stages of development so you could follow along how my artist mind works while figuring out how to make a painting work. :O)
Thanks for reading my blog and join my Instagram if you wish to keep up on a more regular basis. Lastly, if you missed my radio interview about my show, Players in Pleasentville, you still have time to listen on the archived link right here!
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