Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"What would YOU do if you weren't afraid?"

I don't know if it's the winter blah's, work stress, work and workout schedule, or what but I've been doing a lot of coming home after work and just sitting in front of the computer. I read a lot of blogs, comics, Reddit, and sometimes play Jewel Legend on my phone. What I don't do is anything creative. Being creative is another of the ways I like to define myself in my mind's eye, and right now it's another of those things I'm just not doing.

I like to write, which shouldn't surprise anyone considering the missives I post to my blog. I don't consider myself a writer, but I like the idea of writing. I used to write poetry, and I still think some of it was pretty good. I'm not sure how or why that well dried up, but the magic appears to be gone now. I also have a book gathering dust on the shelf. The outline is saved on a 3.5 inch floppy, which will tell you approximately how long it's been since I worked on that particular project. For you young 'uns who haven't even seen a floppy drive on your computer, I'm talking decades. Periodically I think about developing some characters, just to see where it takes me. That's a project I haven't started yet but have not given up hope I will someday.

Drawing is another skill I used to have that has atrophied with disuse. I think periodically that I'll draw little cartoon comics to go with my blog, along the lines of Hyperbole and a Half. A few months ago I decided I would teach myself Blender with this exact project in mind. I haven't gotten very far on that goal. I even started a new blog space with the idea I would create my own online comic. Unfortunately my drawing now sucks, and I haven't spent the time necessary to improve that fact. This is another "maybe one day" sort of project.

At one time I was a pretty damn fine sculptor. I have a bachelor of Arts with a focus in ceramic sculpture. Because ceramics is expensive and messy, I shifted to polymer clays. I made some pretty neat xmas ornaments, which I sold at the holiday craft fair where I worked. Prices were arbitrary, not based on time and materials, because no one would pay that much for the kinds of things I made. I made a few things besides ornaments, but was never able to work out the kinks in creating functional sculpture that wouldn't fall to pieces if actually used. I wanted to consider myself an artist. The crafty nature of my work, combined with my failure to make it more permanent, caused me to walk away. It also didn't help I was making xmas ornaments and I had no real idea how to sell them. I thought about opening an Etsy shop, but having sold on Ebay I'm aware I don't have a flair for description or sales.

Superman sent me a link to my Flickr account last weekend, where I've housed images of my most recent work. He said he wanted to remind me that I am creative. This is one of the things I love about that man. Looking at some of the things I made got me thinking about sculpting again. I have ideas that involve blown eggs. I have ideas on how to fix the "clay pops off the glass" issue. Simultaneously I have doubts the work is really that good. I'm still stopped by the crafty aspect. What does one do with crafty work when you really would like to consider yourself an "artist?" There are only so many items I can gift to my family.

To be creative, I started blogging again. I'm not certain telling the black hole that is the internet about my days, my thoughts and fears, is actually creative. It does appease somewhat the desire to produce something. I haven't figured out yet how I'm going to fit some of the other creative projects I'd like to work on into my world, but I'm starting to think it's a now or never proposition.

I spent a good portion of today watching Youtube videos about Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In Project, and while she's talking mainly about women in the workplace I can't help but apply one of the questions she asked to this aspect of my:

"What would YOU do if you weren't afraid?"

I'm still working out exactly what it is I'm afraid of. What I would do if I had the time and energy is creatively work on all aspects of my art. What I have to do now is figure out how to make that time and energy.

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