Large and in charge

I’ve had many thoughts lately, trying to decide what I want to do with this blog, with this website, and with myself in general. What do you do when you’re an artist in a recession with a severe case of artist block induced by a plummet in self esteem?
I’m not sure. But I think if I write about the artistic side of my life a little bit each day, it might help me to get past things and see clearly once more. Today is a bit of personal rumination. Just trying to sort things out.

To start. I’m a 32 year old artist. Most people I know began their careers around 25-26. By 28 my more successful friends were already hired into various publishing companies, and were well on their way to becoming well known in and of themselves. I woke up on the day of my 32nd birthday and said to myself ‘what in the hell have you accomplished Jessica?’ And my immediate answer was ‘nothing’.

That’s not entirely true though, is it? I’ve been published with baen, with darwin’s evolutions, with saturday afternoon, with emg. I’ve illustrated for award winning authors. I’ve produced two books of my own, and as my father said ‘that’s more then he’s done’. I’ve had *elliot gould* ask for my autograph (granted, I was 12 at the time, but still!).  I’ve a body of work that’s larger then most artist’s my age, and I have been incredibly happy with what I do. I’m not sure why I belittle my accomplishments. Maybe it’s that it’s not the mindblowing big deal I was hoping to have been by this time in my life? or maybe I just don’t want to accept that I am not a total failure at what I do.

And above all else, I’ve had the honor of meeting some of the most creative people of our times, and being able to call them friends.

It’s not been easy, it won’t be easy. But today my goal is to accept how far I’ve come, rather then focus on far I have to go.


4 Responses to “Large and in charge”

  1. LaTonia says:

    Well, please don’t stop doing your art. I am kind of in the same boat as you, only you’re more accomplished than I am. I turned 33 this month, the recession has been a bitch, my self esteem is low, and back in March they found cancer and I had to undergo surgery and chemo… Let’s just say I stopped doing all of the art I do and I lost some of myself by doing so. Now, I sit down and go what am I going to do? When before I was rushing to pick up my camera or make some jewelry, or even experiment with some new medium. It’s been very hard to find the artists inside me. I know she’s there. It’s like she’s at the end of the hall, and I’m walking towards it, but not getting any closer.

    In hopes of jump starting things I applied to a photography studio/art gallery last week. I got the job! I think that means I don’t suck! You are an amazing artist! I’ve come to enjoy reading your rants just as much as seeing your newest piece of art. I think the world would be a duller place without your artistic vision in it. Just seeing the things you create makes me want to know the person behind the painting. That’s a first for me. I only ever wish I could know dead people 🙂

    “But today my goal is to accept how far I’ve come, rather then focus on how far I have to go.” These are words of wisdom, my friend. Anytime you doubt yourself come back and read these words. Hope things look brighter to you soon.

    • Jess says:

      I most definitely won’t stop doing my art. That’s never been in the cards for me, though at times I wonder if I should just relegate it to a hobby.

      That’s really hard to hear about the cancer. I do hope they’ve gotten it cleared for you. My medical condition isn’t nearly as bad, though it’s an incurable disease, it’s treatable and maintainable so I can live a perfectly normal lifestyle. But it kills your self esteem, and your artistic drive something fierce.

      But how cool to find a job in a studio!! That’s fantastic! Those jobs are few and far between, but are so worth it when you can snag one.

      ah well, thanks for the kind words. I’m going to be posting more over here. Not many people watch this area, so it feels comfortable to just sort of.. work out my thoughts and bumble through putting things back together.

  2. Alan Ralph says:

    I’ve not done any digital art (notwithstanding my work duties) for over a year, and only recently got started again with my photography, so I hear you on the art block stuff. *hug* And at 41, I’m a freaking fossil now as far as a lot of my old work (software development) goes… luckily, I don’t need to do much of that these days.

    • Jess says:

      aw sweets *hugs* you’re not a fossil… okay ys so maybe you are since it’s software development. But remember this; Fossils are a precious commodity and museums pay a great deal for them *beams8