Who Can Make Art at a Time Like This?

I thought I was trying, but I guess I’m not.

I’m restless because of the obvious–the shit I’ve been complaining about on my blog. This goddamn surgery is all I can think about. And I swear, I am trying to work on art, but it’s not working out for me. If you want to know the truth, and I am so reluctant to write about this publicly, but here it is: I guess I’m some kind of hack because I can’t make art.

I really don’t like to tell the world that I’m having such horrible doubts and psychological burdens when it comes to art. Not that I want everyone to think it’s a fucking cakewalk either, but who am I if I can’t make art? What kind of “artist” am I if I can’t work like all the other artists are out there? 

It seems like every other artist I know are just chugging along, posting new work on Instagram everyday, and I’ve got practically nothing. I post a lot of work from the past. Every once in a while, I’m mixing in some new stuff, but there’s not much.

I got a pan set of watercolors recently and haven’t really tried them. I tried to do something with them today, but I hated what I did. I’m either not used to them or my mood is so bad, I shouldn’t be making art right now. It’s dangerous. 

I tried sketching out some “really great ideas” last week, only to look at them again this week and nearly threw up. They were so stupid. I hated all of them. The only thing that seems to be working out is combining some of those sketches with a few landscape photographs I’ve taken over the years, then morphing them in Photoshop. I’ll most likely work on those more seriously, but not right now. I just don’t feel like it. 

I’m still stuck between making abstracts and landscapes, or something in between–something I can’t marry to my liking. Then, out of the blue, I had the inspiration to pull out an old self-portrait that I’ve always hated. I thought about revamping it so that I like it better. Maybe I’ll do that? I don’t know. A portrait has nothing to do with abstracts or landscapes. What the fuck am I doing? 

And why am I so plagued with having to pick a position about style? It never bothered me before. I used to make whatever the hell I wanted. I didn’t care about what worked in what series, or what body had how many pieces in it. Suddenly, lately, it’s bothering me? Why?

Maybe because I moved out here and I feel cut off from the “art world.” Like, in order to stay relevant or have an art career, I have to have a “consistent” workflow like everybody else. Yet, I don’t want to be like everybody else. I hate that shit. I hate consistency. 

I think quitting smoking has really turned my mood into a shitshow. I’m gaining my weight back too (almost five pounds!). I have to get back onto my strict diet, which was a lot easier when I was able to smoke. All I want to do now is take drugs and sleep. There’s just nothing there for me now. No art, no vices. No scheduled surgery. No surgeon. Nothing to look forward to, and I certainly don’t want to be seen in public. 

I don’t want to leave my house. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to draw or paint. There are no shows I want to watch on TV, and even walking around my neighborhood is starting to wear on me. All I have is writing on this blog, yet I haven’t wanted to write the whole truth about what I’ve felt because it’s just embarrassing. But here it is. Now you know the true misery. 

My therapist says I should give myself a break. She’s given me permission to be a brat for another week. I’m allowed to sob in bed and stay in my shitty mood for a little while longer–all because it feels so good to be pissed off. It’s better than wanting to die. Being mad is way more empowering than being in a black hole. But if I carry on, she’ll start kicking my ass.

But really, I just want some answers. I want to know when a goddamn doctor is going to give me what I want. Is the insurance going to cover the surgery, or am I supposed to wait until donkies fly over the sun? Is Dr. Sinclair ever going to call me back? Will the doctor in San Diego make a straight scar? Am I going to San Francisco? Am I paying for this on a credit card and be in debt for life? Is there a possibility of getting a grant? And if so, when will they inform me? I’d love to just count that out and move forward. 

I was supposed to find out if I was on the grant’s shortlist by January, but they told everyone it might be several weeks before they tell anyone what the status is. If I were to be on the shortlist, I’d have to do more applying: an interview (which I’d suck at), get a reference to speak on my behalf, fill out more detailed paperwork about why I “deserve” the grant, and possibly more. That could be late February, March, April…who fucking knows? 

In the meantime, I don’t know what’s happening with any of these doctors. I don’t have one yet. Even if I did get the grant, they want to know who the doctor is, and I haven’t chosen one yet!

So who can make art at a time like this? 

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