Last night I was working on a new piece and feeling discouraged when Oliver (my significant other, my half orange), said something about how I should keep pushing myself to paint because I love painting. And then he paused and actually asked me "You do love painting, right?"
I thought this was a funny question because I have always been an artist, so obviously this must mean that of course, I love making art. But actually having someone ask me this question, a question I don't think in all my years of painting, anyone has ever asked me before, it made me pause and really think about this.
I guess the simple answer to his question is that my relationship with art is complicated.
I do love painting, but I don't always know how sincere my love is. Since I was little painting has been something I do because it comes easily to me. It's something to do with almost always a guaranteed feeling of personal fulfillment or accomplishment at the end. Maybe I do it because I want to see what my hands can produce if I let them do what they do. Maybe I paint because I'm lonely and insecure and painting somehow softens that. I don't really know.
What I do know is that while I do love painting, I think I use painting to mask the pain of a greater love, a love that resulted in a heartbreak I've never completely gotten over; my love for music. I know this probably sounds really fucking stupid or dramatic but as a child I always had a longing in my heart for being a singer. I dreamed of being on stage, singing at the top of my lungs, and for some time I actually thought I could do it professionally.
I won't get into extensive details of about my musical sob story because it's really not that interesting. In short, I sang whenever I could, auditioned for a bunch of things, poured my heart into a music album, performed some more, and then completely gave up.
I had all these aspirations of becoming a huge "musical sensation" but I never believed in myself enough to truly push myself. I tried but crippling self-doubt and emotional self-mutilation got the best of me until I stopped making music altogether. And yet I have 3 guitars that have been collecting dust for years, but I can't seem to get rid of them and acknowledge that the music in me died. Again, I know this may sound over-the-top dramatic but deal with it because it is how I feel.
Anyway, I turned to Oliver and told him that I do love painting because it's always been there for me, but that sadly I feel like I love music more and that music is "the one that got away". I explained to him that it feels much like when you can't be with the one you love, so you choose to love the one you're with. Although I also question if everything I am saying is bullshit because if I love music so much, then why don't I just quit bitching, and actually make it happen.
Clearly I have conflicting feelings about art versus music and why it's even a competition at all. Maybe I feel that art (visual or musical) requires complete devotion and for mathematical reasons, I can't be completely devoted to both. (I am certain I will contradict this sentiment in future posts but just bear with me).
But I digress. Back to the original question. Yes, a million times yes, I do love painting. I love the feeling of hanging a finished piece on the wall and genuinely impressing myself with the outcome. I love getting lost in what I am doing to the point where hours go by and I don't even notice that I haven't gotten up to eat or use the bathroom. I love the excitement of getting new art supplies, specially new brushes. I guess that's what some may refer to as passion.
Last night the passion was a little tired, and I couldn't finish the painting because I got too wrapped up in my own shit to move forward, but I'll finish it one of these days, and when I do it will probably be a cool piece...
On another note, please pardon my cursing. I'm trying to be more honest and free and I've realized that means not censoring my every thought for the sake of appealing to everyone and their mother.
ANYWAY, if you are curious about that music album I created many moons ago you can click here to check it out.
If like me, you both struggle and enjoy making art and you want to share your feelings, I encourage you to comment below. I'd love to hear from you, especially now that I am bearing my soul and welcoming you into the creative corner of my mind.
Thanks for reading. More random thoughts coming your way soon, but in the meantime the best way to connect with me is to follow me on Instagram @JasleniArt.
Stay true to who you are and remember to always follow your heart.