18 May, 2019

I need some advice (from other artists): if possible

Hi, I'm Victoria. I haven't been active here for around 7-8 years. There are a few reasons for that. I won't get into them. But for the last 4-5 years, I've been dealing with depression. I've been depressed since I was born (practically). It's a genetic pre-disposition. But it's been worse these last 6 years or so. It's been affecting my ability to paint, sculpt, wood-burn and make jewelry. This latest bout of intensified depression is partially due to the death of my therapy cat (I have PTSD and some health issues that he alerted us to). Also, my health issues and my (failed) attempts to make money woth my art, as I am often too ill to hold a steady job of any kind. I had a physical gallery/studio for a year at a local college. But gave it up because I couldn't get anyone interested in visiting all of my finds went towards just renting the space. Also, they often kept it too cold and refused to turn the A.C. diwn. Not to mention that another business was interfering with my space and no one would stop it.

Anyway, there's no way for me to do art shows (I have no transport and no one to ask to help. So, I came to the conclusion that an online presence was my best and only choice. That said, I was researching the best ways to appeal to people, how much or little of myself to tell about on my website and so on. I came across several sites and blogs and the like, that stressed how important a creator's "why" story is. So, I started thinking about WHY I do what I do. And everything I came up with sounded unappealing. I tried to think of SONETHING else, but finally I realized that I don't really know WHY I do what I do. I've been addicted to drawing and the like for longer than I can remember. It was an escape from the things that caused me PTSD and was one of the things that kept me from committing suicide when I was a pre-teen. Mostly, I started making jewelry, sculpting and wood burning because I needed something to keep me sane. But, if I were an art buyer, I don't really know if that would turn me away or towards buying the works. I really don't know if it would come across as the artist complaining, or opening up. Anyway- the fact that I couldn't came up with a compelling "why" story lead to artist's block. A bad case. I haven't been able to produce anything new because I keep thinking: "what's the point?" Or "why am I doing this?".... and that stops me from doing much of any thing.

I've been able to sculpt a bit, but not much. No new jewelry. A few ACEO card like paintings. But nothing detaled. I haven't been trying to meet with my former art teacher, to ask her opinion, but it's been one thing after another that keeps stalling that. It's actually painful to not be able to create anything. Especially to not be able to draw or paint..... and it's just adding to the depression. So, I thought I would see if anyone here might have some ideas that could help me through this. Though, I don't know if that's possible. I don't want anyone to feel obligated to respond to this. I just really don't know what else to do, and thought that asking this here might not hurt. I considered asking on Deviant Art, where I have a more updated gallery, but the people there tend to be more juvenile in the way they approach things. It's not always easy to get a kind answer there.... and considering the fact that I am already depressed, I just thought that WE was the better choice. I will ask there if no one is able to help here, but this is my first attempt at seeking help from other artist's online. I'm nervous about typing this, because I still don't know what (if any) sort of response I will get, so typing this was not easy. I appreciate any advice (if any) that can be given. Thank you



Art & Photography by Bokehen 18 May 2019

Being an artist is depressing there's no other way around it. Our best works come from our emotions. But when our work is hindered or even obstructed with our emotions, we become bogged down with the emotions instead allowing the emotions to flow onto the canvas or sculpture The idea is to learn how to control and manipulate our emotions in order to control what our work becomes. We all have issues, I for one have developed physical limitations which hinder my ability to hold items. The last three cameras have been dropped more then 50 times each. The best thing going for me, is the support from my wife. If it wasn't for her, I prob would have never picked up a camera again. But this time, I got insurance for the camera. As for being at the right place, you are. I for one would never attempt to talk down on anyone being an ex-teacher myself. However I do have strong ways of showing how things should be done. So take my words with a grain of salt and it's meant for your own good. If your work is good enough to have been offered a chance to be displayed in a museum and you can't get there on your own. You'll have to find alternative sources of transportation. My issues is that none of my work is good enough to be features at a museum (or so I've been told) I've had a few chances to exhibit my work, but would back out because they wanted me to pay them to display my art/photography. never the less, sometimes all it takes is a group of artist to inspire one another to overcome life's challenges.

Rick Corbett 24 May 2019

Hi Victoria,

I too suffer from PTSD as well as Schizophrenia due to my PTSD. Art for me is very emotional, when I'm creating, I often find my self crying, become angry, then become very sad. It can be stressful at times but as I grow older, I am learning that these emotions are important for me to go through and I'm discovering that I tend to go through these emotions more when I create because it's during this time that I am ME. I'm not trying to "hide" my emotions from others because I don't want them to feel bad for me or be a burden to loved ones who worry about me. When I'm around other people, I feel that I have to hide my emotions, hide my illness because I'm afraid of what others may think. I am a cutter and have attempted suicide several times. When I draw, it's a journey of self discovery for me. I learn a little bit more about myself when I am alone drawing in my home studio. I've never "liked" myself and loving who I am is out of the question. I have always been ashamed of who I am because of my PTSD. Drawing is a huge part of who I am and is helping to give me a purpose in life. Being around other artists and sharing my story also helps.

I'm sorry for the loss of your therapy cat, our fur babies are a huge part of our family, and its so difficult when we have to say good bye. Please know that you aren't alone. Keep creating and keep fighting no matter how hard it may be. Most importantly, keep sharing your story. It's difficult and can be scary at times, believe me I know; but by sharing it helps not only you but others as well. You are very special and have a gift of creativity. You are stronger than you think, keep pushing forward and keep creating. Being an artist can be fun but also difficult, at least for me it is because it's just me alone with my past which caused my PTSD; but as difficult as it can be, it's also the most liberating because when I create, it helps me to heal. This is such a great post, very powerful. I know you don't know me, I plan on posting more and being an active member going forward, but reach out if you ever need to talk.