Okay, so this is an art blog of sorts and I am doing my very best to try and write a little something every week to keep you all up to date with my artistic journey and all that nonsense.
And the plan was to do this by each week discussing some of the artsy whathisnames I've been up to the previous week.
This was a good plan.
You see, this week I've hit something of a dilemma.
I haven't been very well so my creative output has been virtually non-existent.
Now I don't feel bad about this.
It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling you should be doing more and that a week without some sort of act of creation is a miserable waste of life. I've been there myself in the past.
But the fact remains that I have not been well enough.
After a long day in work and snot filled nights of not nearly enough sleep (I have a cold - nothing serious but annoyingly disruptive) my concentration has been shot to pieces and I really have had no energy to do much at all.
And that's okay.
Not creating any art for a week or so does not make me any less of an artist.
Though it does sometimes give me weird dreams.
Not of the Professor X with pins sticking out of his head in geometric patterns variety. Nobody is saying that.
I've never had those dreams.
You might have.
But not me.
Are we clear?
But anyway, sometimes we just need a rest and that it what this week has been for me. Minimal artistic output, maximum relaxing in a puddle of my own luke-warm snot (never fall asleep with a runny nose).
Here's a picture to distract you from my snot remark:
I think it's a very easy thing when you are inclined to be creative in life to put yourself under pressure to make something, to pull out your chosen box of toys and create some art.
Writers, illustrators, painters, musicians, we all do it. Art is such a big part of our identity that leaving it alone for a bit makes us question ourselves.
For obvious reasons I can't speak for everyone (I am not an omniscient god. Probably) but I know I live forever in the fear of being the guy who says "I used to draw".
There is no sadder sentence to me.
As an artist I hear it so often, and every time it breaks my heart.
I used to draw.
Why would you stop?
Pick up a pen or a pencil or a piece of charcoal (when I am far away and out of earshot thank you) and draw something. It seems so easy.
But then, sometimes I don't draw.
And I wonder. Is this how it starts?
A day without a doodle becomes 2 days, becomes a week, becomes months, becomes years. And one day someone shows you a picture they made and you say "I used to draw"
I think we all live in fear of it.
That when we neglect our chosen art we feel anxious and afraid that we'll lose it, that we will lose that vital part of ourselves.
And we feel guilty that we are not doing more, not making enough effort to earn that identity, to preserve it.
We just forget.
We are not artists because we make art; we make art because we are artists.
And sometimes that means we have to take a break and just look after ourselves a bit. The pencil will always be there, waiting to be picked up; the paper will sit there, waiting to be drawn on.
None of it happens without us.
Whether it's depression, anxiety, injury or just a pitiful little sniffle that keeps us up at night, we all have moments when we just can't do it.
And that's fine.
Take some time (note, I mean the sequential progress of the future into the present and the past and not the herb. That's thyme, which is spelt differently and tastes better), don't pressure yourself and you'll find your way back.
Look after the artist and the art will look after itself.
So I haven't been particularly creative this week and I think that really, it doesn't bother me at all. I can draw stuff when I feel better and this week I'll just concentrate on being all sniffly and slightly too warm instead.
So my only remaining problem is this pesky blog. Without having done much art this week I have nothing to write about.