My anxiety compresses my mind when I attempt to suppress creative energy boiling up inside me. On days where I have patience for my own recklessness, I let my creativity bubble up and pour out of me. Wide-eyed, talkative, and fearless – I bolt down the street to the Inkstone, grasping at any muse that throws me inspiration. I gush to the man behind the counter about my excitement at finding a couple hours to spare and he helps me collect a few new Liquitex hard bodies and a small canvas. He always laughed at me because I was too self-conscious about my past work to show him anything I’ve done. I would just say, “I guess I like to paint flowers.” Then, knowing me well enough from my sporadic visits, he hints at a product I haven’t snatched up before and lets me go with an arm full of goodies.
I would not say that my lifestyle and art are melded in any way, shape, or form – rather, my art thrives in a realm quite separate from my mundane obligations. This realm consists of soft acoustic guitar in the background, Ben and Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie ice cream, an old sheet spread on the carpet, and lots of paint. I remember once trying to take an art class and feeling awfully incompetent. My hands would stiffen up with frustration and ended up aching afterwards instead of feeling freer than before. That’s why I’ve always stuck to making a mess in my own room.
I share a small apartment with my two roommates. My art is scattered throughout. Here I have painted the wooden Ikea table with sunshine and rainbows, there I have painted the sunrise on my roommate’s cardboard “HELLO” sign. It always ends up as a result of my insane happiness at the time and serves as a constant reminder to my sluggish self on mornings where I have to get up for work and go about my routine. My art gives me hope. What the viewer sees does not conjure emotion or allow for a deeper message. Instead, the emotion thrives through the carefulness in which I construct my art. The feelings inside of me while I am painting, drawing, or crafting are in need of reigning in. My art’s job is to give me limitations and reasonability.
My living space is important to me because it’s where I create and get inspired. It’s where I read and reread new and exciting stories, mulling them over in my head through the following days until I feel ready to cook something up of my own. Comfort is one of my most cherished values. Once I’m comfortable and feel free, I know that I can do whatever I set my heart to – even if it’s just painting another flower.