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Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Long Delay...

Apologies for the long delay since my last post, but I've had a lot on my plate.
For a while now I've been giving serious thought to quitting art altogether, for the 3rd and last time. I've spent an incredible amount of time, money and energy (both publicly and privately,) for what appears to be nothing. It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. If so, continuing down this path was truly insane.
On the other hand, if I quit it all, how would I fill my time? For a few days I went into "productive action" mode, focused mainly in keeping the house nice & clean. It does feel good to have things organized and tidied up, but once it's done, maintenance isn't half as fulfilling. I considered getting back into shape, but I have my reasons for not wanting to go there. I ended up doing a lot of nothing. Feeling depressed, sitting on the couch, exhausted all the time & crying a lot.
Fortunately everything seemed to spontaneously improve a little while back & I realized in retrospect that a variety of factors had contributed to the "perfect storm" of my recent downturn; hormonal changes, physical illness, work stress, etc., etc. Although I was glad for that, I know that the approach to my art still has to change.
Since my resources are wasted on the business side of art, I'm quitting "the biz" (at least temporarily,) & going back to enjoying the creative process. Not that I won't engage in "the biz" if someone contacts me about it. I just need a break from all of the pointless runaround, so I'm no longer pursuing most of the outlets that I have been (local shows, publications, galleries, contests, markets, etc., etc.)
The room full of my paintings, photos, etc. that have been collecting dust (& those yet to collect dust,) will make great gifts for friends & family.

24 comments:

Travis said...

I'm glad you decided to keep going on your art. It would be a shame to give up completely something you do so well and that gives you such pleasure.

YogaforCynics said...

Glad you're back.

As for the definition of insanity, it depends what results you value. Certainly, if I value monetary compensation the most, it's nuts for me to keep on writing. If, however, I put the value on my own experience in doing it, or on the effects that my (small handful of) readers say that my writing has on them, it's a different matter.

JafaBrit's Art said...

Like you I won't turn my nose up at opportunity if it presents itself. I think a time to rest and reflect will be a good thing.

Chris Eldin said...

There is so much here I'd like to talk about, I wish we could have tea and just spend the afternoon.

As a stay-at-home mom, my choice ten years ago was rather forced since my husband traveled a lot (and still does). Since we could afford that I quit my job, I did, and I haven't regretted it. But, our children are now 11 and 9, and I realize that during those years I had one household project after another (painting, redoing basement, garage, etc) I was staving off madness. I need to have a goal, and I sense most people do.
Rather than giving up on your goal, I think it's wise to redefine as you've done. I'm in that process now with writing. I told my husband I was going to take 2009 as the year of my big push, and if it (publication) doesn't happen, I would slowly back off. One acquaintance (much older) spent 35 years writing before he became published. Is that the definition of success? I don't know. Not for me. I would've gone on that journey differently.
But from everything you post about, and just how you *are*..... you are an artist.
If the business side of things is burning you out, it's wise to step back. But it seems to me, as an outsider of course, that art is such an integral part of you that you really can't take it out of you. Just suppress it temporarily...

Like I said, wish we could have tea!!

Hugs....

Chris Eldin said...

I just realize the post I wrote is one rambling mess. Sorry about that!
I'll try to come back to this, because your topic is so important to all of us who struggle to "succeed" in the arts.

Sidney said...

Good luck with everything. Sorry to hear about the ups and downs.

Laurie Powers said...

I've been thinking about you Lana and was glad to see your post. I'm glad you're continuing in a manner that makes you happy.

spyscribbler said...

*hugs* Oh, Lana! I think your art is wonderful. This is a real tough time for all the arts. In the last five years, 5 of 6 piano stores in the Cleveland area have closed. It's finally trickled down to me, and I'm having a bit of a crisis about it, too.

It's not just a goal or a business decision, it sort of triggers a lovely and enjoyable identity crisis. Joy, joy.

At least for me. So I'm sending you hugs. :-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Hugs.

Natural said...

hey lana, do what's best for your mental health. i seem to enjoy doing what i love when there are less expectations from it.

i think you're a great artist and maybe stepping away from the business side of it will help clear your head.

i enjoy the work you post here. even if it's just to look at it or learn something new.

Michelle (artscapes) said...

Lana- I understand marketing burn-out. And it has been a tough year. At the end of the day, create for yourself. That's what really matters.

erla said...

Lana, sorry you have been in such a rough place. You are an artist. You may not be a comercial artist but, is that something you want to be? Hope that taking time off the 'biz' end will take pressure off.

I look forward to seeing your photos and painting here because they show me things I've never seen, made me feel what I hadn't felt, and taken me places I'd never have gone. That's what Art does. So, for selfish reasons, I hope you keep doing this!

Meanwhile, take good care of yourself!

{HUGs}

Steve Malley said...

Welcome back, and for what it's worth, I too think you did the right thing: the 'business' side of the fine arts is, by and large, an utter clusterf**k. The creative side is one of the deepest, most nourishing pursuits possible in a human life.

Larry said...

Sorry it's been so tough for you but you are very talented.Don't give it up just try different approaches.-Glad you'reback to posting.

Tom said...

Lana-

I enjoy your work and would miss seeing it here.

Ello said...

I think you are making a good decision. Get back to the creative side which you love and forget about the biz side that can be so draining. Go back to just creating art cause you love it and are good at it. And cause everyone here loves to see it.

Erik Donald France said...

Lana! Here's to creative work, and all good things for you. Best wishes and salud!

Doson said...

*Hugs -I missed the photo this time.
Take a deep breathe.. forget all your works for a week & live like you're FREE from Everything. And then get back to work cos' I can't miss this stuffs..

Take Care & Listen more to Pink Floyd

Chrissy said...

I loved the doson's comment above... :D
Lana, it would be so sad if you gave it up. I think the decisions you have made are good ones, do it for yourself. I have a portfolio full of crap. I put some paintings on my wall a year ago and now they are all about to come down, I am replacing them with the stuff I make now, my back bedroom is full and I don't care! I think it is the commericality that puts the pressure on. If you need the money, get a little job and if you don't, well then that is even better.....go back to making stuff you love and give up the crap you dislike! "Big hugs" to you...
Oh and you cleaning your house doesn't inspire me much...your wildlife photo's, art and sunsets, now that's a different thing ;)
I would like tea too...I wondered where you had been :D

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey lovely Lana,

I so understand this post! Sometimes the whole artistic enterprise can be terribly frustrating, a true heartbreak. And I hate the business end of it -- glacial, I swear. It can kill the fun of things. I think it's really smart to take a break from the business end of it sometimes just to remember the pleasure, the most important thing really. (And I have to admit, cleaning house and getting in shape have never given me half the pleasure of seeing beautiful paintings like you create or writing something I like.)

Shauna Roberts said...

Lana, I'm so glad you didn't give up art. Clearly it creates meaning in your life in a way nothing else does. Not making a living at it even though you are so talented is sad, but not having meaning in your life would be terrible.

I didn't pursue a career in music because I wasn't talented enough, and for many reasons I'm glad a music career didn't work out. But I have continued to play music, both by myself and in amateur consorts, and that has been a fulfilling part of my life. I would have missed out on so much if I had quit altogether just because I wouldn't have been able to make a living at it.

laughingwolf said...

good plan, lana... someone once said: do what you love, the money will follow

Capcom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bird said...

Oh crap, you know promoting your work and yourself has to be one of the most tedious, soul destroying, painful things in the whole world. It's what I'm trying to do a lot of at the moment and I tell you now it does NOT come naturally, not to anyone with a soul. Take a break, work for the love of it, recharge your batteries. And here's a big hug too. *Hug*

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