Lately I've had this nagging feeling of... something. And this "something" has been preventing me from doing a lot of things. Namely drawing this fanart for Anime Expo. It's my first year selling in Artist's Alley at a con and I'm pretty excited but also nervous, mainly because I never really do fanart. I was in a huge drawing rut lately, which is why I started doing those reddit dailies and my friend portraits, but those dailies didn't last too long. Why? Because now I'm freaking out and nervous about getting my AX prints done, and now drawing is back to feeling like it's a job. And I hate that.
I already know that I'm not ready for an art job, and it's kind of a long story about how I got to that realization. Long story short, doing freelance for people wasn't making me happy. It felt downright torturous at times, and a lot of the negativity stemmed from my own feelings of inadequacy. I have a fear of disappointing people, and every time someone asked me to draw them something, I felt like I was disappointing them because I always hated what I was drawing. I felt like because it was something that was ASKED of me, it was somehow stripped of its purity. It became an assignment instead of a true drawing, so in essence it was almost fake effort that I was putting into it...and it was easy to tell. At least for me. And I hated that.
So now that comes back to the fanart. I'm feeling like it's kinda like a JOB... and no matter what I do ( I've literally done hundreds of failed comps) it just doesn't come out right, and I feel like no one will buy it. I don't wanna put crap out there, and that's what I feel I'm putting out. So now I'm stuck, with AX fast approaching, and terrified that I won't have anything to sell at my table. And because that stress is looming over my head, I can't draw ANYTHING else. UGH. THIS ISN'T HOW IT SHOULD BE!!!
Which comes back to this "something." I didn't really know what it was until today. I think I've finally pinpointed it. It's restlessness.
I think I'm at that sort of "quarter life crisis" stage... you know that panic of "WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!?! WHO AM I REALLY?!?! WHAT WILL I BE DOING IN 5 YEARS?!" It all seems to be hitting me at once with these realizations of what I'm not yet ready to do. Sometimes people tell me "well Elora you'll NEVER be ready. You just gotta DO it!" And you know... I believe in that to a certain extent. I think with some aspects of my life I'm the spontaneous "just JUMP IN THERE" kinda gal... but with the whole career and art stuff... notsomuch. Because of that whole "fear of disappointment" thing, which also kinda veers into the "fear of failure." And I know going down that path of being an artist you can't fear failure, otherwise you're just gonna get stuck in this comfort zone of doing the same kinda thing because it's what you do well and you'll never GET THERE. So this fear of failure has actually turned into this gigantic fear of being afraid of the me that fears failure...because I seriously am starting to freak out that I'll never get over it, and thus never get better. ARGH. Does that even make sense? Whatever.
And that comes to the next thing... I feel like all of this stress and nervousness about trivial things like getting prints done and not being good enough is just that... TRIVIAL. Anthony Holden posted an awesome thing about GOING FORTH AND ENJOYING LIFE to become a better artist. And I could NOT agree more. So many CRAZY nutso things have happened in my life since I've decided to take this path that I'm currently on, and it's such great material that I'm ACHING to use it for something. I have so many ideas threatening to burst out of my head that I don't even know what to do with them and it literally HURTS. Sometimes I feel like I can't BREATHE because of all the awesome things I want to do, but then comes the fear of doing them...because I think they won't be as good as how I see them in my head. And the other problem is that whenever I know I have an ASSIGNMENT, I can't bring myself to focus on anything else anyway, even if I wanted to. That deadline is always just burning in the back of my head, freakin' me out. Bummer.
I feel like I'm just STUCK. Like SERIOUSLY STUCK. I need to do something DRASTIC to get out of this mess that I've gotten myself into. What even is this? Is it some sort of mental problem? Sometimes I definitely feel like I have some kind of problem, but I know the only thing that can fix it is me. Ugh. I just WONDER WHAT IT ISSSS. I don't think it's depression? I dunno. Anxiety? I WONDER.
Anyway. I got hired recently for two pretty chill photography jobs, which was what I was aiming for so they don't take up too much creative energy. Up until this point I've basically been unemployed because the jobs I DID accept didn't give me any money at all, or they currently owe me money that I'm not sure I'll ever see. Needless to say I learned a lot from this unfortunate experience. But yeah, I definitely needed something stable because absolutely nothing was coming in and I was at the end of my rope and couldn't pay the bills for all the debt I was starting to rack up, so thankfully I got hired for stuff. But now I'm pretty scared that having 2 jobs will be a crazy time commitment and I won't be able to LIVE anymore. I've been having a pretty fun time till now so I just keep telling myself that it's just dealing with the consequences, but I'm still sad because I also realized something else... I have no clue how to balance my life.
Last week I did training at my 2nd job, the full time one, which I am officially starting tomorrow. I don't think it's a coincidence that I listened to THIS PODCAST today. It's a fabulous story of this 23 year old guy, Andrew Forsthoefel, who decided to walk across America and record stories of people he met. He said that he was "walking to listen"... which is beautiful. I highly recommend listening to it, I listened to it twice, once on THIS AMERICAN LIFE and then the full version on the above link. Back to back. And I didn't notice, but I was tearing up. Why? Because this kid was living life. And I'm jealous. I wanna do it too.
Yesterday I went over to my friend Jon's house for an Arrested Development marathon, and we started talking about going on an adventure. I want to go on an adventure SO BAD. I feel like it's what I need... to just disappear... up and leave... and figure myself out. Listening to Andrew's story was so inspiring and amazing that I started looking up how to do this whole "Walking Across America" thing, and boy am I serious. I haven't been to any other states except for Nevada (for Vegas) and Arizona (for a Muse concert), and I feel like I am really missing out. I want to know what this country has to offer, and I want to meet a bunch of interesting people and listen to their stories.
The problem is, I just got hired for 2 jobs, have all these AX prints to do, have a bunch of plushies to make, a ton of debt, and currently NO MONEY.
So that's why I'm now writing this blog entry, so I don't forget my feelings at this exact moment, and so I can PROMISE MYSELF that I will make a PUBLIC LIST OF GOALS, a CONCRETE LIST that is ACTUALLY WRITTEN OUT with DEADLINES, so that I can refer back to this whenever I feel lost, and keep myself on track. I don't want to wake up tomorrow and be 40 years old not having done any of this... not having gone on a legitimate, life changing adventure. Maybe right now isn't the best time, but I know that time is gonna be here before I know it... so better be ready. I know the deadlines are loose, because life tends to get in the way...but I think having approximate deadlines is important. I have SO MANY ridiculous goals, but I'm just going to put the ones of utmost importance here for now.
1. Finish AX prints (June 20, 2013)
2. Sell plushies on Etsy and get better at sewing (July 2013)
3. Start a webcomic and REMAIN CONSISTENT with it (August 2013)
4. Learn how to paint (July 2013 - Chris Oatley's magic box)
5. Get stronger at foundation (July 2013)
6. Make an iphone game (by 2015)
7. Get better at storyboarding (January 2014)
8. Create a digital "Choose Your Own Adventure" book (August 2013-March 2014)
9. Draw all my facebook friends by 2014
10. Create and publish a children's book (2014)
11. Get a portfolio together for CTN 2013 (October 2013)
12. Lose 40lbs (2013)
13. Learn how to animate (2014)
14. Make a short film (by 2021)
1. Be a bridesmaid (September 2014)
2. Pay off all credit card debt (December 2013)
3. Walk/Travel Across America (Visit all 50 states) and DOCUMENT it (2015 or 2016)
4. Teach English in Japan through JET program (2016 or 2017)
5. Attend FZD for a year????? (2017 or 2018)
6. Backpack across Europe (2019-2020)
7. Become a magician (while I'm doing all of the above)
8. Become a member of the magic castle (2020)
9. Live in LA finally (2020)....
Oh man... that's kind of a lotta stuff. Writing out the life goals especially and seeing those year numbers... :\ Yeesh. I JUST WANNA DO IT ALL NOW!!! Is that too much to ask?!?! D:
Apparently yes, it is.
I wish I did more things when I was younger... I feel so old already :( I don't want to be saying this same thing when I'm 60. I want to be proud of the life I lived!!!
I'm going to end this braindump entry with some art because this is an art blog :P My dad has been going through old stuff, and I was actually already going through a bunch of old stuff yesterday! So now it's time to share, especially because I want things in a ton of places so nothing gets lost.
When I was in high school, my friend Jannica and I did a comic called Tinder and Razz for the school newspaper. We created these twins who were freshmen at our school and we wanted to document the weird stuff they dealt with. I created the guy, Razz, and she did Tinder, the girl. I found some stuff on deviantart yesterday, but I'm sad that a lot of the originals were lost :( Thankfully my dad found some of the actual newspapers today which was cool :D But yeah... here's some of that! :) We wrote the stories together, and we originally started off BOTH drawing it, but then I think we moved to one of us drawing it and we tried having the other color... or whichever one of us had more time did whatever... you know. But yeah it was a great experience and I really miss doing it and I miss Jannica :( I can't even collaborate with people anymore because I worry so much about sucking, but this proves that something GOOD can come of it. I dunno what happened.
That's another thing, I accomplished SO MUCH when I was 14-15!!! Back in 2004-2006 I was SOOO productive! Way more than I am now! And I think it's because I was just drawing for the fun of it, and drawing what I REALLY WANTED TO DRAW. Which is why I wanna start a new comic... SO BAD. I want to write the stories I wanna write... and not really do fanart :\ You know? I need to stop complaining about fanart. I do it SOMETIMES, but only when I really want to and really feel it, and mostly it's 80s movies or TV shows. Sigh.
But yeah... it's already 2am and I need to work tomorrow. There is so much more to say but at least it helped to get this stuff off my chest. What it comes down to is that I feel stuck and lost, but not lost in the sense that I don't know what to DO with my life, but lost in the sense that I don't know how to accomplish WHAT I want to do with my life. There's so much that I wanna do and it stresses me out worrying about how to get there.... it's terrifying. I know people usually say "oh yeah it all works out in the end!" but right now I'm having trouble believing that because there are so many obstacles in the way preventing me from attaining ANY of the above.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my life, and grateful for everything and everyone in it. Which pisses me off even more. I should be content with what I've got... but there's always that part of me that feels empty... I just really need to find that THING to fill it. And I don't think it's a place of work... I don't think it's a person... I think it's just... me. I just gotta fix me. Somehow.
Blah. SOOOO much easier said than done.
Better get on it, Elora.