Creative Freedom

Creative Freedom

In progress wall of mini paintings

I just got home from a pretty busy day. The last stop was my old studio apartment – yup, the same apartment that I'm hosting my Art Show / Pop Up Shop in next month. I spent the evening patching holes and painting over the pink walls, which was oddly satisfying. I also did some math (scary!) to try and calculate the dimensions for my 100 Day Project display.

The 100 Day Project display will be a grid (10x10) of the 100 paintings I created from April 3 - July 11. I calculated that the wall I intended to showcase these 100 babies on would not work at all. Too small – short by nearly ten inches. I moved the entire production to a larger wall, measured a bit, and began hanging.

Watching the grid come to life was a big moment. I felt overwhelmed with pride, excitement and emotion. As I hung each painting, I watched my style evolve before my eyes. You can see how it changed – the older paintings are slightly timid, afraid to show themselves. As the series progressed into the 20s and 30s, you see a pattern (no pun intended) emerge. The color stories are bolder, more complex. Around the 50s, paint markers are introduced and the repeat patterns become more detailed and precise. The 80s and 90s utilize abstract shapes instead of florals. And there are wild cards throughout, like #46, where the acrylic was so thin that it was almost like watercolor.

Hanging those paintings tonight was invigorating, creatively speaking. There are days when I struggle BIG TIME with this path. Days where I feel that art is useless mostly because its effect isn't tangible. Art cannot be measured in spreadsheets or yearly reviews. Its impact is emotional and not for everyone. One piece may elicit feelings in one person and nothing in another. This "intangibility" is hard for me to stomach. Growing up, I saw that value was measured in career, success, promotions, benefits. Making random art for the sake of pleasing yourself was not something I saw around me. Hell, it's still new for me. But hanging those paintings tonight, – I felt alive! I felt in control and sure of myself. I thrive on not having to answer to anyone but myself when it comes to my creative vision. Tonight, alone in my old apartment, it was just me and the work.

My two biggest fears about the art show are 1) no one will come and 2) nothing will sell, further proving that I'm an imposter, a wannabe, a loser. Those fears have been manifesting inside me since last fall when I quit my full time job to pursue....what exactly? But tonight, hanging those pieces....fuck. Those fears vanished. And as I skipped down the alley, heading home to my new place, all I could feel was happiness, certainty and euphoria.

I haven't had a moment like this in a long time. It's residuals are lasting long enough for me to write this post before bed, which really is something. Something ignited inside tonight and I've got to keep that spirit, that flame, burning as brightly as I can because that is really me.

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