textiles · exploration · misadventure

On Art and Self Doubt: Flogged


Abstract painting of pink poppies with orange, yellow, white background.

I am flogged by doubts lately.

I try to figure, am I doing the right thing, practicing textile skills, aiming for eventual artwork, spending as much time as possible pursuing a passion? Or am I fucking up?

Am I pursuing a future for myself? Or is this time a joke I’ll look back and shake my head at, years from now?

Am I better off continuing with my plan? Or finding a job, working full time, moving to a saner, quieter place, and working on textile loves in my spare time?

Each night I try to sleep, fearing the crashes and thunderings and slams that can come at any time from the left, the right, above, I doubt my sanity in remaining here, in my old flat with its old lease and its cheap rent and my loud, insensible neighbors.

The move can’t come without the job, not with the cost of rent here. And the job can’t come without the move.

Sometimes I am on the verge of seeking work, of ending the anxiety one way or another. Then I think of the book I’ve been reading, Fearless Creating by Eric Maisel, in which Maisel describes artistic anxiety as a struggle between the anxiety of creating and the anxiety of not creating, in which he encourages those who would be artists to choose the anxiety of creating.

Is that what I’m feeling? The anxiety of creating?

All I have today are questions and doubts.

For a full list of all articles on art and self doubt, look here. At this point, the list is short.

Image Credits:
Painting, Patchwork Poppies, by my college roommate, Brenda Higginson. Brenda, your work has always stunned and moved me. I’m privileged to own two of your paintings. They make me very happy.
Photograph: Of Patchwork Poppies and granny squares, by curvylou.

10 thoughts on “On Art and Self Doubt: Flogged

  1. Wish I had some wise words for you. The tension is hard but you’d still be in it even if you got a job tomorrow and moved next week. You’d wonder if you should have chosen the other way. I say continue creating through the tension and see what unfolds. I do my best writing in that place. By the way, based on one your posts a while back, I got the book you mentioned by Eric Maisel. It’s my next read.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marie, thank you for your thoughtful comment. You make a *really* good point, and make me curious to see, if I continue to create through the tension, what will come out the other side. I hope you enjoy the book… I still find some of the language a little overblown, but find a lot of the ideas useful. I’m curious to hear what you think.

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  2. If we only knew the answers.. I had a professor once tell me to stop thinking with my head and listen to my heart…not giving advice here just something she had told me. The but here is she said to be at peace with yourself and then quietly listen to your heart. Not as easy as it sounds as the head is hard to ignore and sometimes it isn’t the heart we are hearing even when we think it is…. How is that for helping….
    I have made some bad choices in my life but the good ones are the ones I try to hold fast too.

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  3. I’m telling, Lou, Midwest.

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  4. You are the one who has to decide if you need the job and the money it brings.
    You are doing something creative. Something you are passionate about. I love reading your stories and seeing your accomplishments.
    And you have many of those.
    Hugs my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words and support, you wonderful lady. It’s a constant battle, and I didn’t think it would be, whether or not to go back to work now, or later.