Artistic Restlessness

I accomplished more or less nothing today–I’m going to go doodle for awhile and see if it helps, or if I start gnawing the wall in frustration.

I am restless. Normally this time of summer, post con-season, I’d be burned out, so this is sort of an improvement, I guess. It’s not that nothing’s working–I could sit down and do something and it’d probably come out fine–it’s just…I feel a sort of generalized artistic irritation. I want my art to be other than what it is. I want to do something different.

Long-time readers–or anyone flipping through my gallery for five minutes–will note that I have this little commitment problem with art. I find some style or technique or theme I like, jump into it with both feet, do it exactly twice, enjoy myself immensely, and never do it again.

(Okay, okay, I’m being too hard on myself. Occasionally things stick–there have been plenty of saints, plenty of Klimt’s bestiary, plenty of weird little watercolors of hamsters, endless Weird Fruit…but there’s a definite pattern.)

It’s not that I can’t sustain a long-term project. Any time I start to get down on myself for not finishing things, I can now beat myself over the head with my own published works, and when I someday finish Digger, I will have the ultimate affirmation of my ability to Get Shit Done Long-Term. I have a work ethic. I think of myself as lazy most of the time, but if I’m being objective, my standards are totally warped there, and C.E. Murphy and Ellen Million and I will someday wind up sharing a padded room on that particular topic.

I’m easily bored with my own work, that’s part of the problem. I keep wanting to do something different, something new, and once I do a thing, and do it again to prove it’s replicateable, that’s it, I’m bored, time to go fool with something else. Any time I see something done well, I want to try it, just to prove that I can…and once I’ve proved it, unless it’s really got legs, then ho hum, I’m done.

And a few weeks later I’m restless again. This is a particularly bad patch, if I’m writing about it–generally I just go cruise DA and wind up drawing bad anime doodles or something and then going back to what I’m decent at, still mildly frustrated.

But it’s that time now, and any art  I look at, I’m going to imprint, and do at least two of, which means that under no circumstances should I be shown pictures of Stonehenge or Easter Island, because Kevin is dreadfully accommodating to the neuroses of artists, and doesn’t deserve that. Chainsaw art is also right out, what with the limbs and all. I itch for three dimensions, but fear it. I am afraid of power tools. And I’m really not "crafty." Glue guns andI don’t get on well together. There are explosions. I am likely to decoupage my art to my pant leg. I wish I could do collage. I don’t know how these people make these weird little jewels of cut paper and gilt. When I attempt to do collage, I stick one thing to another thing, add torn newspaper, stare at the results, and find myself wondering if it would be improved with some dried macaroni or seashells. I will show you terror in a handful of glitter.


Life was easier when my ambition was to be a realist. I just had to worry that my chickens looked like chickens. Now I can do chickens that are pretty reliably chickenish–they’re not Robert Bateman chickens, there are worlds of far better chickens, but they’re not bad–and furthermore I can put little spacesuits on them or drape them in togas or make them dance. Now what? I got nuthin’. I’m left standing around staring at the chickens, all of us vaguely embarassed to find ourselves so totally without a plan. Eventually one poops in its spacesuit. When you get right down to it, chickens really aren’t made for interstellar flight.

I eventually just cruised Amazon and ordered a bunch of used books on assemblage art, which I think is like scrapbooking, only  with rusted metal and nude photos and artistic legitimacy. Possibly something will spark something. Possibly I will go buy a soldering iron and solder something. The wall. The cat. Whatever. (I’ve done circuit boards, surely I can do art.)

Possibly I will go play Twilight Princess for awhile instead.

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