One of my goals this year has been to write more and share more stories about illustration, creativity, and life. So far, I’ve been failing at that a little bit by not posting often enough. It’s been a rough few weeks since my last post that made it hard to fully focus on work.
There have been demonstrations and protests happening in my birth city, Kiev. My family that are there are alright, I guess, but they have been affected and are in shock, as well as the entire country of Ukraine. If you aren’t aware or don’t keep up with the news, you can Google for news and images of Kiev and Euromaidan (Independence Square).
Amy Ng is celebrating 6 years at her blog Pikaland and is giving away Issue #1 of her Good To Know zine series. It shares how artists deal with their setbacks. I contributed to the issue when it was originally published in 2009. You can check out my contribution on page 31. Here’s what I thought in 2009 was my stumbling block to creativity:
“My biggest stumbling block to expressing myself artistically is that I’m often taken too literally. I struggle with this because I usually don’t want to have to explain my work. The thoughts I put into the piece are my own and private and explaining those thoughts is like telling my life story to a stranger, to whom I just began to exist. I think my work invokes the feeling of curiosity, and just like lyrics of a song, my art could be interpreted in different ways, according to the individual.”
My views have changed within these 5 past years. I no longer mind if I’m taken literally and I don’t mind explaining my artwork. So, maybe that means I’ve made it past this stumbling block. Or maybe I misdiagnosed the actual stumbling block in the first place. That, the actual block, was me spending too much time focusing on the negative instead of the positive, and being afraid of what others might think of my artwork.
Since 2009, I’ve learned that “explaining” your work is just sharing your stories of life’s joys and heartbreaks. I, myself, love learning about other lives and I’m inspired by people’s stories. By sharing your stories, you’re passing along a torch that could inspire someone who needs it.
I’ve also learned I can focus more on positivity while accepting that negativity exists. It’s hard but not impossible. And I’ve learned to deal with the fact that I what I can’t do is control what others think of my work, just like I can’t bend spoons with my mind. Although, that would be a badass trick!