I was talking to mjp the other day about investments. Not financial investments. We aren’t those kinds of highfalutin people. Nope. We were talking about time investments. Time is something we can’t really afford either, but we both invest a lot of it into some crazy shit and don’t even know why.
Specifically, for me, I spend a lot of time and energy in making plans. Some people may not know this–or maybe they do (maybe it’s flamingly obvious), but I spend a silly amount of time obsessing over art; more time than I do physically making it.
When you spend that kind of time thinking about something, you feel pretty obligated to make it come to fruition. If not, you feel guilty. Too many investments of thoughts.
We were recently re-watching Six Feet Under and likened this scenario to something we saw. There’s an episode where Ruth goes to the racetrack and loses $25,000 dollars. She’s very upset about it, obviously, but she seems just as surprised at herself as her children are. They ask her what happened, and in the scene before that, we see her win $4,000. She explains to her children she thought she was “on a roll.” She said she was up $9,000, lost it, and thought that if she could just win back her initial investment, it wouldn’t all be for nothing.
Later mjp and I were talking about how a lot of things seem like that. Investments. We put time, money, and energy into certain things that we know aren’t going to get any better. But we keep at it because of the investment we already put into it. It makes about as much sense as the mind of a gambler when you think of it. It makes no sense. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and walk away.
Today, finally, I’m applying this to those goddamn bag pieces I keep dragging my feet about. Originally, I was excited about it. I really wanted to make them. It’s not that I don’t ever want to make them; I just can’t get motivated to make them right now. My mind is excited about making other things.
However, I haven’t started anything new because I feel obligated to make at least ten more bag pieces. I promised myself I would do that. (I promised the world, the world that isn’t paying any attention). But I made multiple announcements about it online. I created a dozen compositions with plans for the colors and fabrics I was going to use, I deconstructed the grocery bags, ironed the bags, and had mjp help me clear out and build a space to do spray-mounting in the garage.
I even bought a bunch of new fabric for some of the pieces, fabric I had to wait a long time for since no one was doing much shipping right when Covid-19 first started.
I went through a lot of back and forth about whether the bag art was any good or not. I wondered if the idea sucked or not. I finished two to see if my gallery would like them. They weren’t all that jazzed about them, which made me recommit myself to doing them all the more–just to prove to myself I needed to make them despite what anyone thought. Now I really had to do them, right?
While trying to navigate all this in my mind, and figure out why I didn’t want to make any art, I started sketching out some new things that had nothing to do with bags. That idea alone was making me excited. And the stuff I was drawing was getting me inspired again. There’ one drawing of a horse standing on a giant horseshoe watching is thoughts go by in the sky.
So I’m thinkin, if I want to hit while that fire’s hot, I’m going to have to abandon the bags–at least for now–so I can move on to something that motivated me to work. I’m putting the bag set-up away and getting the space prepped for oil painting on canvases now. In doing this, I’ve been having somewhat of an “ah-ha” moment. I don’t want to jinx it, so I won’t get into it, but let’s just say I’m already feeling like my truer self.
And that’s a better investment any day.
Other than that, It’s been a garage day today. We’ve decided to bring everyting that’s currently in the storage facility back here to the house. I can’t in good conscious keep paying the rent on it when I’d be saving a lot more money if I just brought it home. Our garage is finished, and the temperature is not so bad in there, considering. Plus, we’ll put carpet down.
Today, mjp set up some new shelves for the stuff that’s already in the garage. We needed to do that before we start moving everything from the storage locker back in there. I have about a month to get it all moved. It will be a cost to move it again, but it will ultimately be worth it. I also won’t have to drive to fucking Riverside whenever I need something from the storage locker! That’s been a pain in the ass.