No Direction

I’m at a pretty good place in my life, meaning that right now there’s not anything I totally hate–no mean boss, bad living situation, mysterious rash, etc.  I don’t mean to say that everything is perfect, just that nothing is currently so bad that I’m fully motivated to changing the situation (like getting out of Cleveland for example).  And I’m getting comfortable.  While that’s not a bad thing, I’ve been gently prodded by others to think about where I’m going professionally and the embarassing thing is that I hadn’t given it much thought.  In fact, I’d done a great job of keeping my head down and ignoring everything but the things that need immediate attention.

Thinking about things that I don’t have the answer to is highly unpleasant so I tend to avoid it.  Like why haven’t I been blogging or painting or blogging about painting?  Short answer: macroblogging is too hard.  Long answer:  I don’t know where I want Andrea Riley the art dabbler to go.  My only goals for myself were to sell a painting at some point in my life and have an art show if I were supercool, and I’ve done both.  Now I have a blog about the art that I’m not doing and a website that although not completely polished, I could probably use for its intended purpose of marketing myself but I don’t.

After forcing myself to think about why I do art I came to the conclusion that my motives are mainly to entertain myself.  And if the object of my exploration is pleasing to someone else’s eye then great, but that’s not really why I created it.  A little for an ego boost, but mostly for funsies.  Is that enough to really want to market myself or my product?  Not sure.  There are a few things in my way.  First, if someone is out to buy a painting in this economy I’d be flattered to sell one but rather they buy from someone who doesn’t already have a full time job with benefits.  Secondly, I’ve been hit hard with humility lately and that does not a funny blog entry make.  While this is in theory a great virtue to possess, I find it hard to be humble and creative at the same time.  I can’t be reminded of my own limitations and then go out and create something awesome (although many artists have done great work based on self hate).  I would like some of my megalomania back, please.  Or a way to work within my current realm of thinking.  But frankly, I’d just rather ignore everything.


2 thoughts on “No Direction

  1. I only always try to compete with myself, to only make my next comic better than my last, or else I’d always be shrinking with shame comparing myself to the “greats.” In doing that, I found that I do get the necessary ego boost to continue on. Ego is a huge part of all art, which is hard for us Midwesterners in particular, I think.

    That said, I ignored everything for two years after my marriage ended. Sometimes you need to step back – when you’re ready, it’ll come back to you.

    Selfishly, I hope you continue to paint 🙂 Lovely work!

  2. I like that theory of competing only with yourself, I need to use that in life as well as art. I am going to beat the pants off of my last painting.

    I actually bought a canvas and have some sketches of the design I want. Now I just have to paint which I’m not real excited to do because I have to open windows and it’s 9 thousand degrees outside. Alas, I will take your advice of “don’t try to do it, just do it”.

    As Ben said at hangover brunch, you are a good art coach. Thanks for the encouragement.

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