Hello everyone! Long time no talk! I usually only use this part of the site to do updates on upcoming shows and exhibits, but needless to say 2020 wasn't very kind in this area.
The pandemic hit RIGHT as I moved across the country to live in Los Angeles with my fiance. I was supposed to get my foot in the door to find work in my dream career in art. I had stars in my eyes, going from a small quiet town to the big busy streets of Los Angeles, where dreams come true, things of the now are happening, and you become a somebody if you work hard at it. But once COVID-19 hit, everything shut down, I was forced to get (once again) a job in retail to make ends meet and pay the bills, those stars in my eyes quickly faded.
My art started going into decline and it was my own fault. I started having an essential crisis with my identity and my art reflects myself. So as I was going through this crisis, I tried on many hats, and my art mimicked this transition. I tried being more like my idols, who were successful stay at home artists, I tried being a cutesy rainbow goth artist, I drew and drew and eventually drew myself into the ground. I completely burned myself out with nothing to show for it. And I had a gallery full of half assed art that I wasn't even proud of. There was no balance, no consistency, no....CM.
I now understand the reason I took this detour is because I doubted myself and felt I wasn't good enough, so I had to put on a mask and be like other artists instead. They're successful drawing X,Y and Z. So I guess I have to draw X,Y, and Z to be successful too. But looking back at my gallery, I can visually see the change when I was drawing for myself vs. drawing what I thought people wanted to see. And honestly....there was nothing wrong with what I did originally. Somewhere during this crisis I almost lost myself and what made myself and my work truly unique. I realized it almost too late. So I took a long much needed break to reground myself and do the one thing I'm terrible at:
I asked for help.
I joined a small knit group of art critics who give you honest but helpful advice on how to do better not just with your art but on selling yourself better. No one if perfect after all. We all have room to grow and improve. And this group helped wonderfully! The first thing I did was clean out my gallery. They're not deleted and gone forever and a lot of the concepts I plan on redoing in the future. I just felt from now on, we're going to put our best foot forward. Because my art deserves that and so do the people who like my art. I'm also going to draw for ME and what I like. Not what I think others want to see or what I think my idols would draw. I'm not them.
I look at a lot of the work I did in 2020 and cringe now, but I won't pretend that journey didn't happen. Regardless, this was my most productive year and my art did reflect that. But most importantly, I found myself again. I started listening to old bands I would listen to religiously as a teen/early adult to get my original inspirations back, I refollowed some artists that were my idols growing up and being more active in their communities. But most importantly, I did some serious soul searching and fell in love with my art again.
I will be cleaning up my image soon where it's more authentic to myself. In a way, I'm glad my work didn't blow up this year like I hoped. Because right now I'm looking at a huge heaping mess that desperately needs to be cleaned up and have a fresh coat of paint. And that's exactly what I plan on doing. Starting back over fresh but authentically this time.
So yes, 2020 wasn't the best year for me, but I don't regret that shadow working and growth that I experienced. Because out of the shadows I found a new source of light. And now I can finally illuminate my path to find my true path. And I'll do it in my own time. Not by others. I wrote this not just to keep everyone in the loop of what the hell happened, but also as a promise to you and to myself that I will continue on this path of honesty and growth with myself and my work. I know my hard work will eventually pay off and I'll finally see the fruit of my labors. But for now, we are planting the seeds, watering the soil, and giving our growth the upmost respect, TLC, and the patience it deserves.