Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Angry Artist

Being an artist sounds freeing for some. You can create something out of nothing and express what you feel, think, or see using different tools and mediums. As a human, I have found that with every green pasture comes a past filled with digging out stones, weeding, and maintaining. No one sees the pain it takes to make something beautiful. I am not sure if it is a failure on our part. What I actually think is that we believe it to be obvious. The desire to perfect and get past the failure is so strong that we think others see the struggle. Every artist goes through a period where they HATE their work. Like a dead end that you cannot fully turn away from. I have felt this for a long time now. 

I was over analyzing why I was feeling so angry with my work. I read books with advice on how to revitalize the spark, took pictures when it felt pointless, rethought about my approach, and sometimes just wanted to hang the bag and start over. I was jealous of my old novice self who was excited by everything. I was and am negative central about the whole thing. No one else thinks negatively about my work. I am a one man band in the pity department. 

Why am I mentioning this conflict in the midst of solving it? Well, this morning I came across something that hit my soul. Last night Chris laid it out to me that I need to stop being so hard on myself. Everyone enjoys the work that I produce, but I am there just sulking in my perfectionisms. Why should I be here discontent with what I produce when I have made so many people evoke emotion? Why should I feel this way when I have a gift? I am wasting my time running myself into the ground discounting what God has given to me.

With this thought in mind, I was reading about God at creation. At the end of each day He would stop and say how good everything was. A mini celebration for each section of creation. Then at the end of creation week He gave an extra special celebration by creating the Sabbath so that we could enjoy everything and how well it all worked together. It was perfect, beautiful, and all that He expected. He enjoyed all that He had done. There was gladness in His being and all He had done He wanted to share with us. So powerful was His excitement that He consecrated a day just for it. Even here in our sinful state He asks us to keep that day just to remember what He has done. We need to enjoy creation. We are asked to bask in His goodness, a blessing given just because He is good.

God not only gave me the blessing of the Sabbath, He gave me a gift. Created in His image He gave me the ability to create. All I have been doing is sulking at my inability when I should be praising Him for what He has done so far, through me. Even if I am not particularly excited about what I am capturing I still should find happiness in making someone else feel happiness. I enjoy looking at beautiful pictures, so why can't I be satisfied that someone else is being blessed as well? I have been ungrateful, nothing more. God wants me to experience the happiness developed while creating. Every bad feeling that I have had toward what I make has not been of Him. I am humbled and moved. 

I hope that this enlightens another burdened heart, distressed artist, or unsatisfied mover. In this world it is hard to create, but when we finally realize that it is all grander than our own notions, life makes more sense. Celebrate. Live. Give thanks. Enjoy. Love. Laugh.


chris Irrgang said...


MrsTello said...

I love looking at the pictures you took of me and Nick, as well as the ones of me and Aubie! They bring joy to my heart. So thank you! :)