Working Through the Lethargy

# of applications sent this week – 1 (exhibition proposal)
# of days hubby’s been out of town – 24
# of days until hubby comes home – 10 and hopefully no more

It is 9:45pm and I have just sent off another exhibition proposal. I was watching TV and had just about decided to finish the application tomorrow, but I fought the lethargy and got it done. This is one of the biggest challenges for me as an artist and I think it is shared by many others. When there is no-one there to force you to get it done and all the distractions in the world at your finger tips, how easy it is to leave things for another day.

The problem with leaving things for another day, is breakfast extends into lunch and before you know it 9pm comes around again. The only way I am going to succeed at this, is to work through the distractions, so that I have time for trial and error and time to make those fortunate mistakes that become the work. People think that artists know what they are doing, but I think perhaps my favourite artists are the ones who work it out as they’re going. While it is a frustrating position, this is how I am trying to work too, because I know that the work I make when I am unsure is usually my best.

I had a drawing instructor who gave each student a handout that listed how not to be an artist. One of the points on this list was ‘Don’t make any work’. This may seem obvious, but I know that in the 3 years between my Bachelor degree and Masters degree, when I was working 5 days a week, I made almost no work despite a continuous desire to be an artist. I am determined not to let this happen again. I need to keep up the momentum for making work that I developed in my two years masters program. I have to apply for everything under the sun even when I can’t stand the thought of re-editing my artist statement for the 200th time. Success as an artist is a personal thing. Some see it as money made, others as entering museum collections, but I think that while those things would be nice, if I can still say I’m making work in 30 years then that will be a success. It’s amazing, but few actually make it that long.

My cat Kita, a cup of tea and a plate of scones…always a distraction, but also a pick-me-up!


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