Saturday, August 1, 2015

Artistic Maturity

** please note, for those who don't know me, my thoughts and words should be taken with a fair amount of grains of salt, I mean... I like to be taken seriously, but it's okay to laugh at me as well, part of my intentions here **

I have been in a thinking thread on the subject of artistic maturity these past few weeks.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that I suddenly see how I have time to think again, and not jump back on the treadmill of life, all those obligations to pursue after I absorb enough caffeine to jump start my mode.  It's August 1st, and I have nothing to do except what I want to do.  Not saying that most of my life-busy stuff is what I don't choose and love to do, it is.  But often commitments lead to fatigue, and the whole meaning behind why I commit gets lost on that metaphorical treadmill. The quiet of the house right now is actually more daunting then relaxing, there are a million things I would like to start, or finish, but instead I'll ponder type here, just because I want to.

SO.. the subject for today, Children, is something I rarely talk about, it's about competition.  Okay, I know I know, I talk about that constantly, and by the time I have finished typing, I will probably have just repeated a blog from a previous date, but I don't care to read what I wrote before, I instead will hope this will be at least slightly different in it's own way.  All we can ever hope for is to show growth in some way, slight differences from how we expressed something before.  Whether it is in painting, or writing, or whatever we place ourselves in, we want to believe we improve in some way. 

I have come to realize my biggest competitor is myself.  I don't think I understood that before as well as I do now, I may have said it, but it probably didn't come from a deep understanding in my heart.  I recall way back when, some years ago, when I once mindlessly wrote in another site, I did that freely and stupidly because I knew no one there in my real life.  Facebook was different.  I was afraid to show who I was in Facebook, well... that part of me, anyways.  I was afraid I would turn people off for acting like a show-off, or inspire critics to tell me what a bad writer I am, or annoy friends and family for being stupid, or, or...well, you get what I mean, being among people who know us does stop our creative side sometimes.  So I didn't do this, no, I kept my over-wordy showing off to minimum size in the Facebook squares offered.  Then one day, that infamous site changed, and all the wordy words I left there got gobbled up by the giant cyber monster, so I had nowhere else to put them but here. End of story.  

Seriously, there is no end of story here, sorry to say that, I can go on and on about absolutely nothing where ever I go.  But the good news is, I'm not nearly as paranoid about what anyone thinks about what I say anymore.  This is because I am a mature artist who knows the only one who is out to outdo me is probably me.  This concept of achieving is such a complicated ideal.  We are instinctively ambitious, and way too often, that bench mark of achievement only means something when we compare ourselves to others.  We are taught to compete before we even learn how to walk or speak.  Doctors measure our weight and put it on a comparative scale when we are newly born.  By the time we get a chance to breath our first gulp of oxygen, we are being measured up.  Then, if we are among siblings, more comparing happens, it's just human nature to do this.  Our progress as maturing human beings is completely based on measuring up.

Not much wonder our world is the way it is.  Every one is competing.  Politicians who claim to want the best for us, ruthlessly compete against each other.  Those who claim to belong to the right religions compete to extremes beyond any practical reasoning.  Our world is a giant mass of competition, and if we want to survive, seems like we must put on the gloves and jump in that ring with everyone else. I have to ask myself daily, what does it matter??  I think I have about 30 velcro curlers in my hair right now, and wonder why I did that.  What does it matter how my hair looks today.  What does it matter if I look older than my age, or younger, or my actual age?  Well, for some reason, it matters to me.  It's my competitor who insists I at least try my best to fight the ravages of age, so I do it.

So many people go online to tell us how they feel, what they painted, what they've achieved, so many personal stories accumulate in the lands of socializing.  I suppose that makes us feel good about ourselves when what we achieve get's "liked and cheered for", a medicinal thing from that surge of chemistry in the brain upon feeling appreciated.  I'm often tempted to never post another thing again when I've had a good response on some artwork I did that I posted.  I have outdone myself, leave it alone, the next might not be so good in responses, just never post another image of my paintings because I could never do so well again, afraid to compete with myself.  I wonder if this rings familiar to anyone but me.  And then, I wonder why I wonder if others think like me.  If everyone told me I was way alone here, would that stop me?  Or, would that make me happy because I am an individual of unique thinking, and no one, not even myself, can compete with me?

Well, my ultimate competitor is telling me to stop typing now.  It's time to take on August with a vengeance, hack away the weeds of wonders and get out there like a trooper.  So I shall...

Over and out...

Mary Ann


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