This portrait spoke to me from the moment I captured it. It deserved more than a few simple adjustments. It was meant to be seen as a work of art. Sounds simple but for this artist, it turned into a struggle.
© Tora Anne Thompson
How Emotions Play a Huge Role in my Work.
As an artist at heart, I want to create. As a flawed human, sometimes the simplest of things can seem like climbing Mount Everest. Every day I struggle with who I am as an artist. When I am able to create, I am on top of the world. When I struggle with being creative, I feel as though I am trapped and bound by every negative thought an artist can have. These creative lows can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. This particular one lasted two months and I am not completely out of it yet. It is torture and I would never wish this on anyone.
This image was reverted back to its original state three times before I had completed it. I felt that I wasn't doing it justice. I knew what I wanted but I could not wrap my mind around the process I would need to take in order to achieve it. I knew how to do it. I knew where to start. I just could not physically and mentally make it happen and it deeply saddened me.
If you are an artist, you understand what this is like. Whether you want to admit to having creative lows or not, that is up to you. However, they do happen to the best of us. Most of us cannot admit that we are struggling. I take a lot of pride in my work and I do not like to seem weak or flawed but I am. I am learning that it is okay to be human. It is okay to be real and to be open. I have also learned that if the people around me cannot handle me in my real state than they are not meant to be in my life. For every fake relationship you lose, you gain multiple people who understand, listen to, and support you.
Would I ever wish to be able to create without having these emotional rollercoasters? NO. I will explain. When I am in a low, I crave to be able to create again. It reminds me of just how bad I want it and how much being an artist means to me. Without emotion, is art really considered art? What would drive you? I cannot imagine creating something while not being emotionally tied to it. It would seem so empty and futile.
Do not forget that it is okay to walk away for a while and return with a clear mind. Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from the thing that is consuming us. It has taken me some time to be okay with this, and it has certainly helped me.
If you are struggling, do not sit in silence. It may seem like nothing now, but a creative low can eat at you. Be honest with yourself and reach out. You are not alone and there are countless people who have been or are in your shoes.