Why Make Art With Subterfuge in Mind?

Blogging should be fun. I should love to do it. I should relish the time spent at the computer typing and posting and uploading and all that comes with it. I do at times. I do enjoy the process. I wonder though- why do it? Why spend all this time trying to get ahead when I feel like I am only going backwards?

It’s not like I have a job. It’s not like I have to spend a lot of time juggling kids with responsibilities. It’s not like I have to go anywhere or do anything. I am disabled and trying to get ahead. I am trying to make a living doing what I love. I am trying to live the “American Dream”. I am trying to make a name for myself and be somebody.

Whatever that means.

I just want to blog. I just want to make art. I just want to make a living doing what I love. What is stopping me? The internet. The thought that I have to forge ahead and make progress every day by getting others to pay attention to me. There is this belief out there somewhere that if you get your stuff on the internet, everyone will be able to see it. I struggle believing this. You really have to hustle to get ahead with the blogging arena. I doubt my abilities to do any of that. I am on a very fixed budget and if anyone has ever had to live off of crackers and peanut butter, you know what I am dealing with.

The internet is only a gateway to a massive world of people who only read what they want to. They only look at what interests them. Trying to be an angel artist who makes comic books and comic strips about angels seems to have turned a lot of people off of my work. Maybe I am just imagining. I feel like I am climbing out of a vaseline greased pit of worrying.

I feel like I am attempting the impossible.

I need to break from time to time. I need to step back and reassess. Doing that this year has allowed me to see all that I have been missing. All that I have been ignoring and avoiding. I realized that following my dream doesn’t mean working myself until my fingers bleed- it means living while feeling good about life and while feeling comfortable. Trying to spread a message of love through a pinhole of fear does not work. I have to expand my leisure. I have to expand my ability to relax and have some down time. I have to allow the good I want to express to fill me up. Otherwise, I am only trying to have a life of ease. In order to finally reach the destination of having little to do and much to appreciate, I have to actually practice the art of not working.

As high strung as my anxiety and fears get, and as tightly wound as I can be, I have found it difficult to not do all the work I feel I have to do in order to make the money I so desire.

But I am learning.

I am learning that taking time for myself while still working on the work when I feel I am in a good place is best. There are times that I have to “force” myself to get things done, but I am only doing them in my own time. I am only working when I feel I will make a lot of progress with little effort. That is not to say I am not doing my best. I am. I am just taking the time to get the “vibration” right. The feeling has to be good, otherwise I am only adding negative energy into the thing that is supposed to bring joy and aliveness. That is not good for business.

Tending to the vibration has been a major theme for me this year. I have had to step back, look at where I am, look at what is working, and look at where I am going. Do I really want to push myself that hard for the rest of my life, or can I take it slower in order to feel successful now in some small way? I am doing that. I am feeling good about the work I have done more and more. I am taking myself more gently and more shall I say, lovingly. I am not doing damage to myself by making myself work no matter what. That is just not good for mental health.

If I want to heal and get over the mental health issues, it does not do me any good to push myself to exhaustion every day. It does not do me any good to chase a wild dream that eludes the majority of civilization. So why do it?

I won’t. Not in that way. I care too much about my health to force a situation that only comes when the wheels are well. Rather than trying to wobble along with bent and broken wheels, I am taking more time to repair, wash and oil the upgraded wheels of life. If the world is attempting to move up to the next level  of evolution, then evolve I will. I will not work with the archaic concept that work must be difficult. I will take the time to work when it best serves me, when I most feel I can contribute a positive mood and energy- when I can add the generous love that Source always provides. I will not work from a place of pain.

SO many artists fall into that trap, trying to let the world know how horrible it can feel. Artists try to out-do each other in the torturous mood and feeling that their crazed minds can’t seem to cope with. Is that really helping anyone? Does everyone need to know how much pain you have? Would it serve you better to work on bettering yourself and feeling better about the world? Would it be best to work on enhancing the moods and feelings that you have and energetically put out there? I think so. Why continue the cycle of pain, frustration, stress, depression, fear, and all those lower emotions?

I know what it is like. I have done that in the past. I thought putting out that negative energy would heal the pain- make it visible and prove to the world that there is horror out there and that being a human only meant pain. It does not. There is no reason to perpetuate the illness, to prove the atrocities a person goes through. If you do manage to heal the world by showing pain, let me know. Yes, there is a place to “let it all out”; to “show it like it is”, but if you are stuck in that vibration, rather than trying to heal while letting it all out, no one benefits.

Journaling and artmaking about painful things is positive and healthy, but to get stuck in only that is not. It does not make progress. It does not help to obsess over the negative, to obsess over the pain, to obsess over the atrocities that are out there. Do you really want to be known as the person who proved the pain we all already know?

That’s not to say it all has to be butterflies and fairy rings. No, what I mean is drop the pain and paint a scene where you don’t have to focus on the thing that hurts. Do one “pain painting” and then move on. Don’t do a whole series or base a whole career on subterfuge and dissonance. Where does that help? The ego probably likes it and you may even make a ton of money, but at what cost? Build a whole theme park about the perceived ills and wrongs in the world- for what? Does that really tell the story you want to tell? Do you really want to perpetuate the consumerist hate and pain?

Artists nowadays seem to be into shock art. Make people see a horrible thing and take their money while you search for the next atrocious thing. You’re only making more atrocious the things that are bad. You’re only adding heat to the fire that is already hot. Why blast people with a ball of horror? Why blast the world with a wallop on the head of how bad it is. The politicians are already doing a good enough job of it. Does it really help people think to see a horrendous act exemplified even if in a satirical way? I see that some artists want people to come away feeling that the artist has made some sort of statement about the bad things in the world, and I see that it really sells well, but what do we gain from that? What do we as people and viewers get out of someone exemplifying subterfuge?

Maybe it is only my wanting to heal that makes me think that. Maybe it is only my wanting to get over my issues and move past all the bad moods and negativity, but it seems that making art from the place of assaulting people with bad mojo just does not work anymore.

Thanks for watching me think.

Tim Edwin B.