12 January, 2006

that frozen feeling...

Woke up, had breakfast sat down to write.
Finished that and now back to illustrating...all hyped, all enthusiastic and then suddenly: Nothing.
Maya's mind goes totally blank. Like I haven't a clue what I am doing and never painted a thing in my life.
I sit down, have a beverage, walk around the house, talk a little bit about my confused existence to the birds who are obviously bored with the mini lectures.
I go back to my drawing board. Sit. Stare. Think "come on Maya...you can do it...just pick that damn pencil up".
I attempt to draw a line..the line is blurred. The pencil needs sharpening and apparently so does my brain.
"Focus...hey it's not like you have forever...tick tock, tick tock..."
The self affirmation talks are not helping and I begin to panic a little.
What if I am not really an artist. What if I am just pretending to be one. What if I never get to see anything published because my work will be never good enough? What if I should get a proper job and stop being the black sheep of the family.
With all the "what if's" rhythmically getting down to heavy beat voodoo dance in my brain the panic builds into a major attack.
I try to breath and calmely figure out what the hell started all this in the first place.
Not an easy task.
Is it some sort of Karma thing? "Your an artist, you enjoy life as an artist so in order for there to be some kind of cosmic balance I the Universe have provided you with a masochistic spotaneous mechanism that will be triggered just when you think your on the right path and will produce mind blowing migraines"?
No...that can't be right.
Maybe it's just me? Maybe its fear?
Fear of what though?

Tick Tock- Tick Tock...
I need to get back to that drawing board...


lorna said...

Oh maya, this post really really resonated with me. I've been having the same thoughts running round and round my head for a few days- wrecking everything I try to do. (This bout of self doubt was started off by looking at too many other people's amazing websites). Your work is amazing and you are up there in my top 5 list of favourite illustrators in the whole world so I definitely think that you are good enough.

I hope that your brain unfreezes soon and you remember what wonderful pictures you paint (both with words and the colourful stuff). Maybe your creative block was your body saying "hey there, just you stop working so hard so that I can get a bit of rest and recover from this fever that is brewing".

Hope you are back on your feet soon, and that your ideas all come flooding back. (for completely selfish reasons of course- I can't get enough of your paintings!) ;o)

Maya said...

Lorna if you weren't such a great artist I would have suggested hiring you as my personal "get through the mucky days" coach! ;)

You shouldn't be getting this way too...Your work is excellent!
You post lovely images nearly every single day!!
Mine looks like utter crap at the moment.

I am coughing all over my keyboard and I have bees buzzing like mad in my head and the guilt is kicking in too for not getting enough work done.

oH GOD...I sound like a moaning old lady... I should shut up and go take some aspirin!!

tlc illustration said...

Oh! Be gentle with yourself! There should be no guilt for taking needed 'get better' breaks! Our body's need it - or they really cranky and completely uncooperative, especially in the creativity department.

In all the reading I'm doing for class-teaching right now, I was encouraged by the fairly universal occurance that happens whenever we are starting a new project - our Left brain doesn't want to start, and the beginning is generally fairly difficult. But once we get into it, our right brain takes over and it all begins to flow. I feel that frequently, especially as I go from stage to stage in these projects. I finally get done with one stage, and have a heck of a time getting past the hump of starting the next. I'm finally painting on this book - but it's been very difficult to push through the resistence. I've mostly learned to ignore all the (left-brain) mental chatter that tries to dissuade, sabotage or delay me. It's not 'real'.

You are a terrifically talented artist. You just have a left-brain along with the rest of us which isn't so interested in art. :-) Take some Vitamin C, make sure you're rested, and then tell your L-brain to take a break...

lorna said...

Very interesting TLC. I now recall reading something similar in 'The Artist's Way'. (which I should really buy rather than just read it in bookshops).

I hope that you are feeling better today Maya, and if not then STAY IN BED!

PG said...

Maya, I can't add anything to what everyone else has said - you need to take a break and stop beating up on yourself, because your work is wonderful and I would think that even if Ididn't know what a sweetie you are. :)

You definitely need crumpets, if only for something to laugh at. (You were right about Marmite by the way.)

Maya said...

Hi Gretel :)
I think the crumpets are a brilliant idea...You are all very sweet, and I don't know how I coped without you for so long ;) Friendship is such a wonderful blessing...

Tlc your ideas are very interesting...I may have to evict my left brain completely...I have no use for the cursed thing ;)

I am feeling a whole lot better...even got some work done this afternoon...
I am visiting my mum tomorrow, who always has a therapy for my emotional outbursts...lots and lots of Food!!

tlc illustration said...

Try not to bad-mouth your left brain in its entirety. It does serve some useful functions (else we would never meet a deadline. Or speak. Or even be able to evaluate our own work. In a nice and constructive way, of course). Balance, balance, balance... And knowing when to ignore the parts that are not helpful to our current situation.

I'm glad you are feeling better.