Today I focused on taking more time with each painting. Maybe 15 minutes longer than before. It gave me time to look in more details of the shadows in varying intensity.
Today I painted at A2 size for the first time. It works much better for the brushes I have. I can add a lot more details to each painting than when I was working at A3. Also tried using a black background too.
My first day of drawing faces. I am drawing these faces semi-blind. I’d say about 80% of the time I am looking at the photo I’m painting from, only looking at the paper to check I am not starting parts in completely the wrong place!
I used A3 size paper today and I struggled. The brush I was using (smallest aqua brush I had), was too big for the paper and I was unable to add details. I’ll try getting some A2 paper and see how that goes.
This morning I woke up with all sorts of anxiety. Today is the day I am going to sell my paintings face to face for the first time – to real people. I’m sure anyone suffering from social anxiety can totally relate to how scary this is. When great opportunities come knocking on your door but it’s scary, what do you do?
I was filled with all sorts of stress. The what ifs and the memories of EVERY SINGLE DAMM TIME I chickened out of showing up to things. The ringing in my ear telling me I’m just one of those weak person who drops out of anything when it starts to get scary. I was letting my past dictate how I’ll perform today.
Then I realised, today wasn’t about me – it was about the art. It’s not about my ego being scared or me finding this stressful. It’s not about me having to stand centre stage. It’s my art that is going to stand centre stage. I just need to buck up, put my ego aside and show up for my art. Kind of like showing up to your child’s school play – you’re doing it to support something/someone beautiful you created.
Making it in art is all about showing your art and asking people to pay for your art. Both of which are incredibly scary for introverts. It’s hard, especially as women being taught we must help others and must stay quiet about ourselves, to then talk about ourselves and show up. Well, you can short circuit that system of messed-up-but-oh-so-ingrai
This morning, I woke up with a lot of fear and anxiety. With the shop opening to the my precious subscribers, my mind was racing. What if this went wrong? What if that went wrong and people got upset? To be honest, I was in no state to do the work for the launch. I just wanted to put a stop to this whole thing.
Instead, I meditated. It’s a new thing I’ve been doing (like, a week). Then I asked myself Martha Beck’s question of ‘what painful story am I telling myself?’ I had many, but what it came down to was I was scared of getting hurt. People will get upset with me, and I was going to get hurt. Or no one will buy my work. Just hurt hurt hurt.
It’s then I realised – no, it’s not me that would get hurt, it’s just my EGO that might get hurt.
If no body buys a painting for the rest of my life, or someone gets angry at me, it’s my ego that gets hurt, not me. I still love my life, I have an amazing support system and I get to do what I love to do (painting) every day. I am not hurt. Just my ego.
My ego might fear all these potential things that might hurt it, but I don’t have to act on those fear, because I am not my ego! I don’t have to listen to my ego’s fears and give in to them. Yes, if something bad happens, it’ll still hurt, but it’s my ego that gets hurt. Not me. I don’t have to let the fear of my ego getting hurt dictate how I act.
I am not my ego, and you don’t have to be a slave to yours either x
So here’s a thing. I find it really, REALLY, hard to share ‘the artist behind the art’ = myself. I just had a tender, tear-filled session with my creative coach (yes, that is a thing and Jamie has been such a big part of my artist life), where we talked about why.
Why is it so hard for me to share myself? Even my face? It comes from my young Japanese upbringing. I was born in Japan to a Japanese family. Even though I came over to the UK at 10 years old and away from my family, the Japanese culture still has a deep hold of me. In Japan, it is considered absolutely rude and obnoxious to talk about yourself. At all. If someone compliments you, the only polite thing you can do is to return the compliment with a detailed analysis of why you are wholly undeserving of that compliment.
Can you imagine never being allowed to talk to people you meet anything about yourself? Yeah. No wonder this is so hard! Still, I can’t stay in that shell anymore. I don’t want to.
So here is me, right after my tearful session with the always kind Jamie Ridler. 37, I barely ever wear make up, don’t dye my greys in my hair, and the only time I cut my hair is when I SHAVE them off! 😂 I like to keep things as simple as possible – because when I am in the deepest depths of depression (I have Bipolar), I still want to be able to look after myself to the same standard as when I’m feeling ok.
Hope this wasn’t to much info, because there’ll be more to come!