I have to fess up. Hands in the air. Here we go. This year I decided that I wasn't going to do any daily draw competitions. Mainly because I wanted to get my picture books finished. Cut to two days before January the first and I am on the living room floor diligently planning 6, yes SIX daily draws for the year. To add a special dash of crazy to the start of my year I stick to one of them for 20 days of January before hitting a small burnout and sending myself into a creative tizz. It's a tale as old as time for me and one that I have been spending a little bit of time unpacking. These daily draws are just supposed to be a little bit of finessed warm up sketches but I turned them into illustrations that took a good 2 and half to three hours to complete. Even now looking at them I have no idea how they took so long, but they did. To top it off I did something that I promised myself I wouldn't do this year, make my art feel like stress.
I have been seriously considering deleting instagram and all of my art based social media this year because somewhere along the line I have given it a power it doesn't deserve. I love marketing, I love connecting but like so many when I go to social media it feels like I am shouting into an echo and no one is shouting back. I am wary of doing to myself with art what I did to myself with music and I know for the sake of my mental health I can't go down that road again. I am clear on the fact that I am not really telling my story through art, or at the very least I feel like I am holding something back. I said last year that at points I feel like I am creating “for” social media rather than for myself. Like when I played music “for” others instead of myself it uprooted me from the spark of it all. I need that spark. I've built a whole creative life around it. I betrayed it once and I am not doing that again.
So where does this leave me? Actually in a very clear space. I know what I want to do. I know what I want to create. I know what I want to make. I have all the ideas lined up on a sheet less than 12 inches from my face as I write this. These are the stories I want to tell. These are the pictures I want to paint. These are the songs I want to sing, so, that's what I'm going to do. I need time to grow my skill set. I need time to become a better painter and a better story teller. I need time to cultivate the artist I am today. I'm not taking a break from social media though. Quite the opposite. I am going to show my process.
Last week I went to Ikea to find a whole bunch of stuff for my art space. I want to redesign it this year to make it more functional. I also want to make it a place of deep magic. I've picked almost everything I want and thankfully the budget for it isn't insane so I can definitely make it happen this year. I feel it's all symbolic too. A new art space for a new mindset in art. I feel like I am starting to brush up against the kind of art I want to make and the kind of stories I want to tell. My creative novel needs a little tlc before I package it and make it available this year. I also have some poetry collections that I am going to share with you all. Plus, the album I've been writing on and off for a few years just needs some practice and I'll be recording ready!
I stumbled this month.
Im back on it now.
Little by little I make my way.
Thank you for reading.
Ryan James x