Here I am. Smiling. Hopeful. In Aruba for goodness sake! You'd never know there was an inner war going on in that head of mine.
In my last post, I briefly discussed some art goals for 2020. They’re pretty modest, and I think it’s because I’m legitimately doubtful I could handle anything all that challenging. Yes, fear of failure has crept back into my life and dug it’s claws into my psyche.
What does failure look like to me? It looks like being a joke. I don’t want to be the "wannabe" artist that I fear I am. People, especially in the Midwest, do not want to tell you how much you suck. We’re obsessed with being accommodating and kind. So, there is a significant part of me that wonders if any compliment I get on my work is just a fellow Hoosier being polite, when what they really want to say is, “Wow, I can’t believe you wasted all of that student loan money on something you really have no talent in.”
Failure for me looks like being easily winded and unable to live the active lifestyle I want to live. It means I have to spend hundreds of dollars buying another, larger wardrobe. And while I believe beauty is what lies in our hearts not in our jeans, I really don’t have the money to throw at Old Navy. And truly, in my specific case, I’ve let myself become lazy and ignore my physical health. It’s a very personal thing, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
And while I sit here snuggled in my new flannel sheets, dissatisfied with my 2019 decisions, I revisit an alternative version of me that exists in my imagination. This Angela, has a studio in a building with other local artists (not in her home) She gets to collaborate and forge real friendships with these people. Alternative Angela wears more black, has redder lipstick, and is always on top of bleaching or waxing her upper lip hair. She spends much more time creating and much less time eating mindlessly in front of her television. This version of Angela sells more work, shows and more prestigious exhibitions, and is self-assured that she has the mutual respect of her peers.
She exercises regularly and eats food that fuels her body and makes her feel good inside and out. She’s working to start her own business, a local art supply/framing shop. It will succeed; she’s not afraid that she doesn’t have enough money, or that a traditional brick and mortar store wouldn’t work in this economy. She’s well prepared. She’s going to make it work, and work well.
I sigh and glance up at the ceiling. How much of this fantasy is a possibility and how much is truly unrealistic? How much am I holding myself back from doing what needs to be done for me to live up to my potential?
Can I tell you the truth, the disappointing truth of it all?
I am my own greatest obstacle. While I’ve worked very hard to learn love myself, I don’t like myself very much at this moment.
Everyday I wake up and tell myself that I am going to do better than the day before. I am going to choose foods that well help me be able to lose some weight (yeah, controversial, I know), so that I can run, box, and garden to best of my ability. So that I put less of a strain on my feet, which after a summer of taking long walks in cheap flats (glorified pieces of cardboard surrounded by fabric) and gaining weight have created the perfect condition for me to develop plantar fasciitis. And yes, admitting this makes me feel so old. I feel more ancient admitting my feet hurt in the mornings than I did when I turned 30.
In addition to neglecting my physical health, I’ve completely pushed my artistic soul off to the back burner in my life, and it makes me sick (not like, ebola sick, more like the common cold sick, but still, unpleasant!). How will I ever progress as a creative, if I never make time for it anymore? Why have I let this stop being a priority? Time and time again I’ve complained to you on here about how I’ve lacked the discipline to get myself into my studio regularly.
The unfortunate matter at hand, is that not only have I neglected my art, but now I’m realizing that I’ve stopped challenging myself in more than my creativity. I’m not challenging myself physically. I’m not pushing myself professionally. The only thing I can think to do is to intervene in my habits before I steer this train straight off of a cliff.
Here’s what 2020 is going to mean for me. 2020 is a year for me to develop discipline once again. I’m going to commit to my art, my fitness, and my work in addition to my relationships. I am going to challenge myself to fight laziness tooth and nail, as long and as hard as it takes. I am better than this. I can do more than just settle into a life of coasting by, when I know I have it in me to excel. I want this year, this decade, to be the beginning of a renewed sense of self. I am going to do my best to live this life I’ve been given with the volume on max.
I'll end this entry with a photo of me from Summer 2010. Excited and also a little scared for what the future would hold. A time when of a lot healing and pain, but also a time of investing in myself. I'm hoping to grasp that energy, and channel it again into 2020.
Hold me to it, beautiful people.
Hello Loyal Readers,
Loyal you must be, if you’re still reading this. I always tell myself I’ll be better about posting consistently…but you know, life is what it is. It’s a process of gradually filling your calendar with more things: dinner with so-and-so, dermatologist appointment, holiday shopping, holiday cooking, filing taxes, and so on….until all of the sudden you realize you’ve become your mother (though it’s really not a bad thing in my case 😉)
Anyway, you don’t need the excuses. I’m here and I’m ready to spill some tea. Well, maybe not tea…I’m sharing some relatively tame info, so maybe you could say I’m spilling the…almond milk? Can that be a thing? Someone tells you a boring story, instead of “spilling the tea,” they’re “dripping the almond milk?”
Alright. I’m here to drip the almond milk, so get out your bounty paper towels, cause it’s gonna be sticky (oh, ew. What have I done?).
It’s the time of year where I obsess over my progress, or lack thereof, and start to ideate on what I should focus on for the coming year. That’s right, it’s resolution time, baby! I’ve mapped all of my resolutions out through my super awesome project management platform, SmartSheet.
Sidenote: SmartSheet rocks my world. I use it for practically everything now. Groceries (check), Christmas list (Check), RSVP lists (Check), and now resolutions. I’m addicted. I don’t know how I did anything before having it in my life. Not getting paid to say that, I just love the software.
I made a few creative resolutions:
I thought they seemed like fairly “smart” goals.
I’ve made quite a few gouache paintings over the past few months, but I’ve been neglecting my first love, Oil Painting. I’ve got a couple of incomplete paintings that are, I hate to admit, over a year old. I want to wrap those up in a shiny red bow and officially finish my work on them, anything additional to that I will happily take, but I want those two paintings to be a priority.
I just don’t like loose ends, you know. It feels sloppy.
Of course, I saw this adorable resolution list on Instagram the other day from @coco__glez:
Sigh, it completely dwarfs my piddly analytical list. I mean look at it! So adorable. And the goals, they’re fun. I especially like #1. What a clever idea to create work inspired by different books. Obviously, stylistically, this artist is very different…but that could be a really fun idea.
So here’s my question for you, If you would want to see me paint anything based on a book, which one would you choose, and why? I think this idea would bring some much needed creative-joy back into my work. I’d be interested in your suggestions.
At the end of they day, I need to find a way to feed my spirit in 2020. I mean, It’s important that I work on paying my student loans, and succeeding professionally but I can tell I’ve let my creative-self diminish and slither into the creepy/forbidden recesses of my mind where I keep my memories from middle school and my unyielding adoration of the power rangers.
Here’s to you 2019, you silly lil’ beeotch (I only wrote this to seem cool and relatable, like I haven’t lost my quirkiness to “the man,” but in actuality, I was to afraid to write the actual b-word because a). I don’t want my parents to be disappointed in me, and b). I like my job). You’ve been an interesting year.
P.S. Oh hey, If you are interested in seeing something REALLY cool. You should watch the airing of S12 Ep4 of “The Dead Files” on the Travel channel.
I’m not saying anything more about it; just watch it. Trust me 😉
Angela DeCamp is an Indianapolis based artist. who enjoys the finer things in life: black coffee, carnival tickets, the sound high heels make when they clickty-clack on the sidewalk.