I started today’s session with a short piece to video about how I can sporadically feel literally imprisoned inside my own flesh. I can be caught unawares in the mirror and be so unsettled by what I see that it acts as a deterrent to get anything done as I am so distracted by the negativity I feel. Now, having sent a sizable part of my youth in this mental state, obsessed with my own percieved replusiveness, I have spent years working on a more objective mindset and my mind logically points out to me that firstly it doesn’t fucking matter what I look like and secondly my body dysmorphia is a poor excuse to not get shit done. Imagine on your ashes vase when you die: she wished she’d gotten more shit done but she didn’t because she hated what she looked like. Pathetic! So a short piece to video working through some recent internal negativity seems like a legitimate way to spend my precious ‘free’ time at the start of a glór making session. I am going to post this one, then make another one dealing with outward, environmental challenges, like my kid being sick and my other kid having another bout of serious anxiety and me having my legs in the air in the hospital theatre on monday getting my injections for my varicose veins and now having to wear abhorrent support compression stickings that won’t stay up so wrinkle around my legs like Nora Batty from the last of the summer wine, then I will compare the two.
OK the first one was a stream of consciousness talking about the whole imprisoned in your own perception of yourself thing. Interesting how boring and embarrassing I find this to watch and think about- there has to be a correlation with my whole early days preoccupation with self negativity and self hatred. The second one is like the act after a hist rehearsal. Its purer and simpler. I wanted to explore the monotony of repeating a phrase and find out what that phrase becomes after repeated repeatings, if that makes sense. How does it sound to hear and how does to sound to say and how does it feel to say it? I prefer the second video.
Moving on I submitted 3 pieces for the RHA show. My head keeps telling me I havn’t a chance and why did I submit these pieces and my rational brain is telling my head to shut up that I submitted legitimate work, if anything quite mild work, and there is as much chance of my being selected to show as any other dope out there. I also submitted a proposal to Tactic Gallery, Cork for their upcoming Oilean exhibition. I am always left in two minds post-submission, firstly relief that you got the work done to make the submission and second, a real anticimactic post intense work flatness. Seriously though, I realise I have to change this whole ‘submit your work to a panel who tell you if they think its shit or not’ and then be left to deal with the aftermath of feelings. I think I need to submit my work to myself, and I can decide if its shit or not. I feel like this framework I’m working under is not very useful at present. Which actually brings me back to my last post about, A; Submitting work, and B; how to go ahead and make the work regardless of the submission outcome. I mean, I can’t very well let my decision making process and professional output be influenced by the opinion of the particular panel I decide to submit ideas to. Do I just lie down and take it an put the idea to bed and stop trying to make it if they come back and say the inevitable- ‘no we dont like it’ etc etc? How do you learn to separate your feelings from your work and if you do can you still even make work?
As per my last post task: FEAR SETTING
Having thought about this there is not really anything art wise that is not important that I have not acted on to some level. Rather, It might be more helpful to word it as I have not possibly acted on enough. I definitely want to be making money out of my art career, so as I can legitimize spending time at it. Is this mindset the right way to approach it? I think actually yes. I am very fulfilled through the time I spend making art and creating, so to find a way to make this time pay for itself more (the money is needed) would be extremely useful. Its deciding what action is needed to make this happen that I struggle with.
FEAR SETTING: What if I? I am not where I want to be art career wise. I call it a career as I want to be able to legitimize, to myself, the time I spend at it. So yes, I need to take action to further my art career. Is the process I am using now, applying for open calls and competitions, working? Not really, as I rarely get selected. Can I contextualise this and say thats a reasonable outcome because there is a lot of competition or that my work does not suit what they want? Both. As mentioned already, do I continue trying to get others to legitimize my work or do I find a new way to expose and monetize the work that does not involve seeking validation through open calls? Personal online gallery? T shirts? Social media campaigns?
Define: write out what could happen, as in what could go wrong , the worst possibilities, if I take this step. If I don’t take it I will still be where I am at now, getting somewhere but not far enough. Making work but not getting it seen. Wishing my work had more exposure. Wanting, to be honest a bit of validation through others deeming my work valuable enough to pay for it in some form. Yes now thats being honest. If I do, the worst that could happen is that I apply for loads of stuff, put the work out there through pathways made by myself as mentioned above, and it all fails to work. Basically my work is seen as mediocre crap.
Prevent: what I could do to prevent these outcomes. Its interesting, this bit, as I am so plagued by self doubt anyway I feel like I am already at the worst state. I have nothing to lose. I can only trust in my instincts, keep making the stuff that seems to me ridiculous as I make it, even though I am compelled to make it.
Repair: if each of the things in Define came to pass what I could do to get back in action again and recover from them. If it all fails to work then I am already now doing what I suspect I would need to do- in that I move on from the dissappointment of another rejection and and keep making work. Be self critical, learn from my path and keep going.
Benefits: what might the benefits be from a partial win if I have some success? Financial relief in that I’d have an income. This would be hugely helpful especially now when we are trying to find money for alterations to our potential new house. Some validation through the exposure of the work to a wider audience.
The cost of inaction: What happens if I choose to keep doing exactly what I am doing now, as in choose not to do anything? The realisation over time that I did nothing to change my process which would mean I fully deserve to exist in my most feared state- mediocrity.