Self-Flagellation

Gouache_012

Lately it seems like I can’t seem to cut myself a break in terms my work. I’ve been struggling to find a balance in terms of the live critiques we are doing on YouTube and producing our tutorials.  I was realizing the other day that the gouache tutorial, which was shot last September still isn’t done. (although it’s really close) The last tutorial I released was the oil painting tutorial, and that was back in December. The live critiques are time sensitive because we are interacting with our audience so much, (which is great) but, the consequence is that I haven’t touched any editing on the tutorial in months.

When I look at that the past few months in terms of producing our tutorials, I’m absolutely appalled at myself. I’m furious that I am letting the gouache tutorial sit for so long, and that I’m not distributing my time on various parts of Art Prof in a more even manner.

And yet who is upset about this?  Just me. I have conversations with my students at pretty much every class session in my classes at RISD about the exact same problem.  I’m constantly telling the students to calm down, to cut themselves a break, and to try to embrace the small victories along the way. If only I could take my own advice.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this is so common among artists, and I wonder if it’s because there are very, very few concrete milestones that validate our work. (if you win a Guggenheim fellowship, I’m sure that’s good enough reason to give yourself a pat on the back) While I would never want to be a professional athlete, sometimes I’m jealous that success in the field is so well defined; you won the game, or you didn’t. And the fact is, all of us look at our finished pieces and see only what we wish had been done better.

Most of the time I’m immersed in my work enough that this generally isn’t a major problem, but lately it’s been weighing down on me a lot. Time to buckle down and get that gouache tutorial released, perhaps that’s the milestone I’m craving so much right now.

 

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2 thoughts on “Self-Flagellation

  1. Very interesting thought, and I think you make a good point. I agree completely about the milestones. And it got me thinking – is it easier to see and recognise milestones if you look back? With me I think it definately is, and running over the last couple of years in my mind I find I can see positive achievements and even turning points when at the time they didn’t seem like anything at all. At least that’s something – I’m going to try to make a habit of it and if I can, extrapolate it into the present….

    1. This is so true, so many milestones we have as artists don’t seem like ones when they’re happening! That distance is important for us to see our progress more clearly. Good advice!

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