I’ll be honest. It’s a challenge to be working creatively in a small, shared space. I’m usually home by myself several hours a day and have been ever since my daughter started school, but until recently I just didn’t feel up to making any art. That’s mainly because I haven’t been feeling well. I didn’t know why and I may never know the root cause or how it started, but at least I have part of the puzzle now.
I have something called Hashimoto’s. Have you heard about the gut-brain connection? Well, that’s actually a thing and I’m still learning about it. Good doctors are helping me get better. The fog is lifting and I can finally start making art that resonates with who I know I am. While not feeling right, the art I tried to make didn’t feel right either: too personal, melancholy, flat, and just hack. I could have accepted it and pushed it out anyway, but I didn’t want to birth that kind of stuff into the world. My attempts looked like a veritable selection of horrors from Pandora’s box. Except for one piece, they were sold cheap or went into the compost.
Now, this is my space. I’ve been fixing it up the past few months as I’ve been feeling better and better. Stockpiling art paper (not toilet paper), collecting supplies, hanging photos, arranging flowers, devising an art storage system, and so on.
This is where I can “dance like nobody’s watching”. Not literally. It’s just a metaphor for how I feel when I’m creating. When I was in the fifth grade, like most kids, we had a classroom talent show. I wasn’t really participating in anything structured at the time. No music lessons, no dance lessons, wasn’t a singer, not a great joke teller, nothing. But, as I mentioned before, I loved to dance. So I danced for the talent show in front of my class. It was me in a too-small black leotard, wide red belt, and white church tights dancing to “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler. It was also the theme song to one of my favorite TV shows “Cover Up”. A show about a female “fashion photographer and a veteran special forces soldier posing as her model to go on intelligence missions around the world” - pretty much my ideal fantasy at the time. Anyway, back to the dancing. I danced to that song the way any preteen might dance to their favorite song in their bedroom when no one is looking. It felt powerful. I’m sure I looked like a fool, but a fool with great self-esteem and a lot of creative passion.
It may sound a bit cliché, but I’ve discovered a hero inside myself. Check out the Jungian archetypes of a hero’s journey. I’m speaking along those lines. It certainly hasn’t been an isolated journey. There are a lot of special people in my life to thank for the help I’ve received over the past year when it’s been the most difficult. Namely, my husband. Also, my parents and siblings. My big sister brought me groceries when I couldn’t make it to the store myself. A whole lot of ists (nutritionIST, acupuncturIST, etc.) And last, but not least, my loving daughter.
Once this Corona Virus thing blows over, I’m looking forward to having many visitors to my home studio ; the space where I’m getting better and expressing my talents freely. Namaste, bitches.