Writing again

Hello. It’s been awhile. This site seems to be irregularjen more than regularjen. Blogging for me died off some time ago (through complicated reasons), and yet I think about it a lot. I miss long-form writing and the unapologetic introspection that comes with it. I’d convinced myself that I’m too busy to do this and had nothing to say anyway, but after a morning of being in bed (due to not feeling well) I’m in my studio looking at all the stuff I have to do scattered around me and here I am writing. Hello.

I have been busy lately. Too busy. I haven’t got the balance right and it’s doing things to my mind and body that I don’t like. Thank goodness I’m not doing Open Studios this year because the thought of also having strangers wandering through my house as I prep and frame work for my rapidly approaching exhibition fills me with dread. I would’ve certainly imploded. As it stands, I am near that reaction anyway.

I teach too much, create too little and it’s catching up with me. My recent reason for creating art is to provide examples of how-to things for others, and in the few and far between outbursts of creativity I have for myself, I am so filled with anxiety over being out of creative practice that if I don’t have a glass of wine in me I sit in a paralysed state under my daylight bulbs, flipping through social media whilst anxiously chewing my cuticles to throbbing soreness. I can do that shit for hours. This isn’t sustainable. None of it.

The teaching I do online is rewarding. The teaching I do in the studio is rewarding. That’s the problem. Both bring in decent money. (That too, is rewarding.) But what am I doing? I’m having a big think about shifting the power balance back to what I want as a long-term work/life balance. I need the income and I like teaching, but I have to create some disciplined structure which will allow for my proper creativity to grow again. I have a loose plan forming.

A thing has to be important enough to make change, and when you find that tipping point it’s best not to ignore that opportunity. I can do all the things I want to do, I’m sure of it. Pete has a tattoo in latin that means “I shall find a way or make one,” which fits well with my idea of making change. I’ve been working hard to create sustainable income, but it’s costing me in other ways. I know we all make sacrifices in our work lives, and I am fortunate to be working in art, but I need to find a way to love making art again. I have to. Inveniam viam aut faciam.