When I was in my first grade art class, I remember making a scene of some kind of summer camp. We used different colored craft paper, safety scissors, and markers that stained my fingers blue.
In my picture, I drew people in bathing suits around a large lake. As I was gluing on more craft paper I distinctly remember thinking about the span of my life, as I understood it...as well as any seven year old could. Second grade seemed like miles away, middle school and high school, eons...and college... I'd be lucky if I made it that far. I became overwhelmed thinking about how long my education would take, and how many obstacles I'd have to face.
Now, as I sit here on the blue couch that I own, in the apartment I rent, in the city where I live, work, and contribute to my Roth IRA...I feel a bit whiplashed on how quickly it all happened. I know, I know. I'm only 27. For all intents and purposes, I've still got quite a bit of life to live. I'm just shocked at how fast it seems to be going by. I'm getting to the point where I'm no longer worried about all of the experiences I'll have to wait for...I'm now stressed I'm not getting a chance to enjoy them before they're gone, in the past.
In fact, was looking through the past few weeks worth of photos, trying to see what all happened, and I'm surprised at the volume of events that have transpired. Of course, you know I was in that art show, on the topic of politics and protest.
The show reception at the Garfield Park Arts Center when swimmingly. When I saw my work hanging in the show, I felt a mixture of gratitude and insecurity. I'm pleased that others see the value of my work, but I sometimes feel like I'm playing a part. I'm not what I imagine a typical artist is supposed to be like... you know, thin, smoker, only wears black, listens to vinyl, doesn't kill plants, bicycles everywhere.
I don't smoke. I wear colors. I weigh more than 115lbs. I don't even have a record player. My plants are dying (slowly and painfully), and I'm afraid to bicycle on city streets (What! I've seen how people drive. Don't judge me).
I have to remind myself, what makes me an artist is the act of creating. Speaking of, I've done some work on that big ol painting I've been working on. I made a video.
I think darkening up the background helped to focus the painting and completely changed the mood. I'm excited about the changes, although more needs to happen. I'm just not sure when I'll get a chance to really work into this one again.
Lately, work and life have been so demanding, I've only had time to focus on quicker drawings. Like this one below.
This drawing was created in a response to a bout of anxiety that existed terribly and miserably, in my head, for the past couple of weeks. I don't know how to talk about it, because I don't honestly know what was going on. I don't know that I can say I "suffer from anxiety" or if I let myself suffer. Does that make any sense?
It seemed like every single little "speed bump" in my normal life came at me like a grenade. I was dodging barbed words and weaving away from potentially stressful interactions that would normally have no impact on my positive mental attitude.
These past weeks, even the most mild of inconveniences, made direct impact on my self-worth and caused it to appear cratered, craggy, and rough, like the surface of the moon (except not cool or pretty to look at). I felt defeated. I felt like no one could possibly understand because even I couldn't explain my feelings; I'm still not sure how to describe it. When I try, words fall short.
So, in order to combat this heightened sense of dread and overwhelming sensitivity I've done the following things which have helped tremendously.
In addition to reading, I was able to enjoy some quality music. I went to my first ever living room concert with my wonderful mother.
I was introduced to Julia Nunes by my mom back in 2008, and have loved her ever since. Her music is very relatable and honest, and she's pretty funny too. I've always wanted to see her in concert and finally had the chance.
Sorry it's a vertical video... But wow. My mom and I sat in the front row and got to banter back and forth a bit. How cool. Chances are, I'll be going to more living room shows in the future. I just love the concept. I'd describe it as an intimate, laid back experience.
Some how all of these events have played together for the best. My anxiety seems to have subsided...at least for now...and now I've decided to keep moving. I've cleaned my entire apartment, I've written in my journal, and made my grocery list. Now all that's left is to try to enjoy life as much as I possibly can.
These days seem to fly by faster and faster, the older I get. I figure I might as well try to soak them in a bit before it all becomes a memory.
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.