May 12, 2020, was the three year anniversary of my art adventure.
I frequently think back to where my mind was when I left the stability of my job.
I was spending $20 a day (average) on junk food and lattes. There were days where I would have two 20 oz lattes. I would eat 2 – 4 candy bars, plus meals and other healthier snacks. I was walking and doing some exercise, but only to avoid going home.
When I got home I would avoid my spouse and go hide in bed. I would read or listen to movies and music. I just wanted nothingness. Nothing was worth any level of effort and everything made me angry or sad.
When I could get motivated to do art it was usually bleak and negative. I did not have much joy to put into things. You can read my blog posts and read the difference in language and imagery. It is amazing.
Pre 2017 art.
Things are not perfect today, but they are much better then they were.
I am not spending nearly as much money on junk food and lattes. I walk and exercise regularly. Not to avoid my spouse, but to overcome the damage I did while at that job. My spouse and I talk about what is bothering us. It is hard, but we try and things get better every time.
When I get home I talk to my spouse. I do things! I paint, do chores, read, even watch movies, and listen to music, not to avoid people, but because they bring me joy. A huge change is having friends. I never had the energy or mental capacity to manage a relationship. Now I do. I can officially say that having friends is awesome.
I think one of the biggest noticeable change is in the content of my art. It is still generally dark, but there is a lot of joy and hope in it. Things are growing and improving the cores of people, the sky are bright and the colors seem brighter.
Here are some post-2017 creations. I just realized I have not worked on the digital files for many of my 2020 paintings! I am slacking :)
Things have been much more fluid. This leaves a lot of things up in the air. I have not been forcing myself to do things that I do not like doing as much as I have in the past. Blog posts and voice-overs for YouTube videos are two of the most noticeable. Apart of me wants to do them more regularly but another part just does not see value in it. I envision it almost as a failed experiment.
I supposed that things will change a bit as 2020 continues to unfold before us. The longer I am stuck working from home, the more things I do to avoid being bored. Even things I do not enjoy doing.
I mention this every year, but if you are in a bad mental/emotional place like I was. You have the power to change it. It was hard and scary, but it can be done.
The bad thing is not always a spouse or a job. It could be an area you live in, a "friend," or some obligation you feel you have. You do not need a plan (it is good to have one, but not necessary) to make the change. Sometimes you should let that impulsive drive free reign. Change is scary but amazing and wonderful at the same time.
Who knows what awesome stuff is going to take place over the next year? I do not, and that makes it wonderful.
Original published May 13, 2020