In an effort to “not go back in the cave,” I’ve been (egregiously slowly) asking for and (less slowly) accepting help. I’ve been tending to the idea of getting an “accountability buddy” for many months now, someone with whom to mutually check in about progress on our goals, but I haven’t gotten far in that realm. There’s something so daunting about accountability—even when it’s in service of my own health!
So I’ve been skirting up to the line by asking for help around smaller, task-specific items, which seems like a nice middle-ground and huge progress nonetheless. Yesterday, I texted an artist friend of mine to come by and help me “look at” my art studio space. To help me talk out what it is I want to do with it or in there. Because most of what is up there is of the “Someone could use this for something” variety, but that someone hasn’t been me.
Magazines for collages; baskets of fabric samples; all sizes of canvases, plywood, and thick paper. I have finger paint, oil paint, acrylic paint, watercolor. I have charcoal pencils, colored pencils, water-color pencils, and pencil pencils. In my art studio, there are scissors, brushes, glitter, embossing tools, stamps, ink, turpentine, and gesso. Rulers, compasses, sharpeners, and cleaners.
And what is a girl to do?
I have no idea. I’m no painter (“yet,” she adds hopefully). I took an oil class in grad school that produced all the paintings that are up there, 6 years ago. I loved it—more specifically, I loved the accountability and deadlines. I loved having to work toward a goal, with an assignment (interior, live painting, still life [seen above]), an end date, feedback, and completion. I also loved being around other people creating, too. Yet, in the absence of an end date and the presence of self-judgment, all my ideas spool out to the egg yolk on the horizon.
(Speaking of spools, I also have a sewing machine, bobbins, embroidery thread, and knitting!)
So, I’m hoping that my friend standing next to me today, looking into this candyland of undiscovered art, will help me discover: What is next for my art studio? What is clamoring in there to come to life but I can’t hear over the shaming voice that tells me I’m wasting it?
Perhaps it’s something I make, perhaps it’s a group I host with access to it all, or perhaps I tell her about the few pieces I’ve done that I know would make a series, but that I’m unsure I feel enthusiastic about anymore.
In order to create anything, I need people. And in order to have people, I have to ask.