The Nobody Artist

imagesThe Nobody Artist sits alone in a room. There is a drawing pad upon their lap or a blank canvas in front of them. It is raining or sunny outside. All they want to do is get up and go someplace else. They do not want to make work even though they try. Every time The Nobody Artist lifts the pen or paintbrush it hurts. Sometimes it does not hurt as bad. Sometimes it does not hurt at all.

As The Nobody Artist paints or draws they can not stop the thoughts. Why can’t I seem to make a living as an artist? Why can’t I get my work out there? Why have I been unable to get any acknowledgment for my work? What is the point? These thoughts create a resistance, a negative feeling that causes The Nobody Artist to want to do something else. They walk around. They read a book. They listen to music. They watch a film. They eat. They drink. They go places. They work a job. But everything they do is filled with a sense of loss and frustration. The Nobody Artist seems unable to do the thing they know they were born to do. There is a block, something unmovable in the way. The Nobody Artist, no matter how hard they push, can not break through.

The Nobody Artist knows that the busier they become with other things, the less time they will have for their art. But when they find themselves with a lot of time to do their art they can not. They find anything else to do. They avoid doing their creative work in the same way that a student avoids studying for an exam. The pain of knowing that they do not know how to make their art into a way of life, keeps them from making their art. The avoidance of pain is often what puts an end to The Nobody Artists chance at a life in art.

The Nobody Artist often sees other artists who seem to make a life of their art. These artists are not wealthy or wildly successful but they live a life from art. There homes are filled with art and their studios look like an active and creative space. Their work is shown in gallery shows and in magazines. They get commissions and have their work on websites or on album covers. They create books filled with their art. The Nobody Artist is in awe of these Somebody Artists. They are also terribly envious of these artists. Somebody Artists causes Nobody Artists to feel bad about themselves. Why have I not been able to make a life out of art? What has held me back? Why Can’t I seem to do it? This often causes The Nobody Artist to want to quit making art. It’s too painful for them to keep going on. But they do anyways.

The Nobody Artist has a large body of work that collects dust in closets and in drawers. Piles of drawings in folders, sketchbooks and in-between the pages of books. Everything The Nobody Artist creates is destined for the dark closet or drawer. Maybe someday my art will be known, they think and this thought keeps them making work here and there. But deep down they carry a terrible sense that most of their work is destined to move from the closet or drawer and eventually into the trash. Their life’s work meaning very little to the outside world.

The Nobody Artist works hard to let go of the need to make art. Maybe if they could just stop needing to be an artist, then they can find happiness. They could spend their time making money, socializing, reading, hanging out, exploring and living without this nagging feeling that they should be making art. If The Nobody Artist could just rid themselves of this need to make art, then they could be free to live a relatively normal life. But overtime The Nobody Artist gets close to the normal life and then they get freaked out by the thought of letting go of the only thing that really means something to them and then they rush back into making and avoiding their art.

But The Nobody Artist always returns to the fatal question, What is the point? There is so much art out there, the world does not need more, The Nobody Artist thinks. The Nobody Artist is well aware that they should just learn how to make art for the pleasure of being creative. Making art should have nothing to do with anything else other than the creative process, they read. To just take pleasure in the act of creation without needing to be an artist in the world. To just make art in one’s own privacy and then be ok with sticking it in the closet or drawer. Art as a way of passing the time, pleasurably. The Nobody Artist strives to embrace this creative state. To be an artist only when they are drawing or painting and exploring the solitude of their creative inner worlds. The rest of the time The Nobody Artist works hard at becoming relativly content with being Someone Else.

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