What’s the one thing all of us have in common but will never admit? We’re all a little attention starved. There I said it. We all think we’re great, at least I do, and we want this greatness to be seen, felt, and heard, no matter how we get there. Currently I’m struggling with my age (35) *eek*, depression and the idea that my life is halfway to hell already. I’ve tried to be an art magnet since 2006 and I’m nowhere. The attention I tried/try to attract as an artist, has been minimal. Don’t get me wrong I haven’t gone too far off the wagon. The most I’ve done is show a little belly flap. See here.
I recently fell into an article I found from following an artist I admire on Instagram. She happened to be featured on the cover of the the magazine entitled “Business Heroine”. I was intrigued by the name of the magazine and decided to dig deeper. I read a bit about why I still struggle with this art thing and the success of it and also a bit about Mary Ellen Pleasant, a black woman who essentially built San Francisco. Both good reads. But the story that stuck out to me the most and is the reason I’m writing this blog is here.
So I read and got to the portion about having a “Powerful Story”. <this is the part that everyone advises you better have if you want to be “anything” in the world of business, but here’s the thing, I don’t have one.
At least I *think* I don’t have a powerful story about art.
I, like most kids did not care for art class but I had a teacher who refused to let that be a prevailing thought. Being drawn to art started not from my own curiosity but obligation. Totally not a compelling story right? And because of that I feel like a useless artist at times. I’m your regular Joanna. My upbringing was pretty basic and rather than expunging my pains and/or experiences through art I was taught to do it through God. That is how it has basically been for me and truth be told my life experiences thus far have been mild compared to most. Yes, I had a baby at 17 and yes I had to become an adult from that point on, which meant life would not and wasn’t easy at times but is this the story they, the Brand sycophants, speak of?
When I work on art I do notice a zen like feeling that wafts over me. I simply can’t deny that. I instantly get to running through my life story, the embarrassments, sins, and joys. I get into a zone. I’m just doing it. At times the only angst I feel is when I don’t paint for long periods of time. I get stricken with imposter syndrome. So you see obligation not purposeful. Am I pursuing the wrong thing? Am I wasting my time?
I don’t think so. My story with art is still evolving. While my direct experience with life hasn’t brought an innumerable amount of sadness or grief, and yes, it has been hard at times, I know that there are seasons in life. And I believe that my ability to make art will truly come in handy when the real shit happens. Cause it will. Right now, I’m drawing from my womanhood, motherhood, and femininity to frame my story. I know that my art has and can continue to touch people who have gone through significant life turmoil. I know that my art has triggered thought and smiles. I now understand the significance of my life and how useful it can be towards the story of my art and I love it. This is my story in the making. A story of bravery, which I’m sure I’ll have to use one day, awakening, surrendering, simply being real and an ongoing evolution of me with art at the helm and life in the balance.
So what do you think? Is this sufficient enough for a story?