As Cara and I were eating lunch yesterday we got to talking about art stuff. Ive been feeling pretty bummed out about how i never paint anymore, I have no problem reading or playing video games for hours but I just cant seem to get motivated to watercolor art all. Keep in mind that I have no trouble making drawings, challenging myself with improving the stuff I feel I’m weak in, but when it comes to watercolor I’m just not able to make myself do it anymore. This has felt like a problem because I used to do it all the time, I strove really hard to get the technical chops down and then to all of the sudden feel no motivation was wierd for me.
As we talked began to realise something, the problem wasn’t that I spent too much time watching TV or riding my bike or playing video-games (thought I probably do spend too much time doing that. . . ) it that I just don’t want to paint anymore. What is strange is that I still have a blast drawing and am working on a new Japanese style sketchbook (which is gonna rock if I pull off what I’m trying to) but i think that for the time being I’m done with painting. The revelation was that I realised it wasn’t some defect in my character or work ethic (as I thought) it was simply the desire was gone, and art minus desire is nothing.
I used to paint when the shop was dead and I felt that selling some flash or a couple paintings a month helped to pay the bills, now that my clientele is pretty steady (knock on wood) I don’t have any time to paint at the shop or “need” to for financial reasons. I enjoyed painting, but I cant force it anymore.
I’m sure someday it will come back, but tattooing is and has always been my first love, its the art that i still get super excited about every day and the urge to tattoo grows and grows even after 10+ years of “pushin’ the pins”. I guess I’m too dumb to have room for more than one thing in my brain at a time requiring my ‘art muscles’, and if there is any competition for those resources, tattooing will win every time.
What was surprising to me was how long it took me to understand that this wasn’t some moral failure or laziness on my part, it seems strange that something I enjoyed so much could stop feeling fulfilling and turn into a slog. I’m a little embarrassed it took me this long to quit beating myself up about it. Im not sure if this has any bearing but i hand been meditating as much as I usually do, i took a week or so off and within that short time I began to get more bitchy, less patient, little things began to get on my nerves, two days after I began my zazen again i had this ‘revelation’ the world looks and feels better, and my desire to bust out bigger and better tattoos is more than ever. They say that we shouldn’t look for any goal in zazen and I believe this, however when i let it go too long it sure seems like life is a lot less fun and easy!