Something that they don’t teach you in art school is that when you are in art school, you are living in a fantasy land. That may sound silly, but I mean it. When you are in art school, people are demanding that you make art all the time. You are encouraged, if not forced, to spend the majority of your time on your artwork. Then, when you are done with something, you get to take it to a room full of artists and have them give you feedback. It is a constant cycle of creating work and generating ideas. But, what they don’t tell you is that it is a total fantasy land.
After leaving school, finding time to devote to your artwork is a challenge. There are no assignments, deadlines, critiques, or expectations. It is just you, trying to find some kind of balance between work (the kind that pays the bills), housework (which seems to be constant these days), spending time with family and friends (who am I kidding, I never spend time with friends anymore), trying to work out (I really am trying), finding a minute to relax (I literally mean a minute most days), and lastly…spending time in my studio. Sometimes I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, but then I realize that even if I had more they still probably wouldn’t be spent in the studio. My point is, it is really hard to spend time on something that doesn’t seem like it accomplishes anything that is required of an adult. It doesn’t pay the bills (at least not yet), it doesn’t clean my house or cook my meals, and it doesn’t really count as a workout. So it almost makes me feel guilty to spend time working in my studio…which is just crazy.
It has taken me over a year and a half to figure this out, but I have finally realized that it is not wrong to spend time on my artwork. This is what I am meant to do. I have important things to say, and if I don’t say them, who will? It is hard to commit to spending hours and hours on a painting and not even know if I will ever be able to show it…but I can be certain that if I never create it I will definitely never have the chance to show it. So, I am not going to make excuses anymore (or at least try really hard not to), and I am going to commit to spending more time in my studio. I am going to open my Etsy shop, create my zine, start my paintings, and I am going to make something for myself. I always tell people that with what I want to do with my art, I can’t really “find” a job; I have to make one for myself, so that is what I am going to do.