Last weekend I was lucky enough to hear Crystal Evans Hurst speak at an event. It was incredible. One of those soul stirring moving talks that somehow manages to call you on all of your shit and you’re really glad that someone finally did but a little bummed because you know you can’t go on living in denial anymore type talks.
It was the kick in the rear I needed in a really big way.
Sometimes you need to be coddled and given sweet words of gentle encouragement and sometimes someone needs to stand up and tell you to quit the shit already and do the damn thing. I needed the latter.
She told me to pick up the damn brush.
Well she told an arena full of other woman, a group of people I happened to be a part of, to pick up the brush. I don’t think she said the word damn… but that’s how I heard it. That’s how I needed to hear it. And it felt like she was talking directly to me.
And I need to just pick up the damn brush already.
When I started the artist residency in motherhood back in June I just said that my goal was to be more intentional about having a studio practice. I didn’t really define what I thought a successful year in this residency would look like but I can tell you that I definitely clearly defined what failure would look like. I have been operating with that definition of failure as my focus. I have been making sure I only do enough to say I tried but not too much that when that failure happens I can’t shrug it off and say “No biggie. I should have known better. I mean after all (insert believable excuses that are all actually full of BS)!”
It was and is important for me to be more intentional about having a studio practice. But even if I’m not, I am still going to make stuff. I can’t help it. It’s so imbedded in who I am that I am always finding ways to make even if I am not consciously choosing to make. However, if I want to satisfy this deep passion to be an artist, I need to start picking up the damn brush. I need to stop with all the second guessing, the wondering what it means, why I should or shouldn’t, if anyone will ever take me seriously, and the endless list of things that keep me at that point of only doing so much.
I want to make stuff. I want to share that stuff with the world. And I need to be okay with the world’s cold shoulder.
I also want to inspire other people. To share my story just in case it motivates someone else in the smallest way to be bold enough to pick up their own brush.
Hopefully at some point I’ll have something else to write about other than trying to overcome all this self-doubt keeping me from doing what I love, but for now this is what I have to work with.
As always, thank you for reading.
You should check out:
– Crystal Evans Hurst website
– This amazing reading of a letter from Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse that shows that we are not alone in the agonizing self doubt (warning: some pretty crude language is used in this letter)
– And this page about Eva Hesse because I love her work so much