I’m sorry for being gone for so long. During these past couple of years (man.. I can’t believe it has been so long, it seems like yesterday when I was just starting to figure out how put my studio together) I have learned sooo much about how to create a metal’s work studio, where to find the best deals for supply and, recently, how to built my own workbench, but the most important thing I am learning through it all is how to deal with my fears and blocks as an artist.
You see I got my studio together with the help of my wonderful friend Leighann, my amazing boyfriend Moshir, and of course Craig’s List, Bill, Razmik and the other cast and crew that I don’t remember to name right now. Then Diana, a friend of mine, whom if it wasn’t for her I probably would have never known about metals art and jewelry design, began sharing the space with me. It was great working together.
The landlord at the downtown studio wanted to charge us extra for sharing the space which was ridiculous so we found an amazing place in Long Beach (where it had all began), amazing enough, right across from the old apartment we had shared back in our college days. It was meant to be.
This amazing co-op on 1330 Gladys has walls and doors separating the spaces and a gallery in the front to display your work for show and sale. Jesse, the amazing landlord, didn’t charge for anything, unlike my old landlord, he didn’t want any percentage from our sales and he was open to anything we wanted to do with the space. (One of the artists now teaches workshops in her space…which is great for her, but inconvenient for everyone else!)
This space is truly a gem, and Diana is working wonders from this studio. She has become very successful and is truly flourishing as an artist and a business woman. I, however, slowly began to loose my motivation and love for it all. I couldn’t understand myself, and why I just didn’t “feel” like doing anything. I would go to the studio and just hang out, producing as little work as possible. I just didn’t see the point of paying for a space that was not being used.
I felt that I needed to be by myself, thinking maybe it would help me focus, so, reluctantly, I separated from Diana, and moved to a space closer to home, by myself.
I have now had this space for 2 month and I have not produced any metals work in there. I also bought an enameling kiln which I haven’t used. I am still struggling with finding my love and passion for this medium again.
When I talk to my colleagues about this, I generally get the same response. Something along the lines of “You just have to do it!” “I can’t believe you aren’t using your space!!” “How can you not use your kiln?”
I understand where they are coming from, perhaps they have never hit a block, but I am learning to accept myself through it all. Yes, I am not producing work, but I am learning to not beat myself up for it.
I became motivated to write again because I want anyone else who is struggling to produce art to know that you are not alone. You are not lazy, you are not out of ideas, there is a block, and that block is usually fear, once it is dealt with and overcome, I believe it will open space to all kinds of beautiful ideas and projects. Be patient, and definitely don’t beat yourself up because it will only block you more!
Meanwhile, although I have a block in metal art, I am reconnecting with other arts that I use to love and enjoy, like drawing and painting, sewing, cooking and baking, and I am learning new things like felting and woodworking.
I will tell you more about what is helping me through it all and my journey as I reconnected with my soul in my next post, which I promise will be soon.