I think it has been weeks since I tried to start and finish an artwork. For the past months, most my works are quick portrait sketches in a small journal I keep in a drawer in the office.
I kept promising myself to get back to painting as soon as I got adjusted with my new job. But that has not happened yet. I told myself to work on artworks based on the recent trip to Visayas. Yet, I haven’t even selected which scenes to paint.
Prior to getting a 9-to-6 office based job, I was focused in establishing myself a career as an illustrator. Besides my stints on album lay-out for the production company of classmates from college, I look for illustation jobs online. I sorted out a schedule on what to work on and post online to train myself to consistently draw, as well as to make myself more visible online.
I could only look with disdain at the lack of significant art piece in my instagram feed. Mediocrity is not what I have in mind when I decided to really be an artist.
In a recent exchange in twitter with a friend I met through Deviantart, he remarked that “being old” made him “uninspired.” I responded, “I have the same dilemma but if I keep making excuses, it will lead me nowhere.”
One of the reasons why I couldn’t create artworks apart from the usual portraits and fan art is that I have been uninspired to create. I have lost myself from the land of fantasy that I can only mimic what I can see – not that it is wrong to do so.
However, there is still a need for an artist’s mind to explore more than what meets the eye. One of the fun things about creating art is that you can craft from your hand a visual representation of something that does not necessarily exist in our reality.
I recalled the last day of my Malacca trip, Daniel and I visited the church and the other sights around St. Paul’s Hill where a met a man who paints scenes from the historical state for a living. Like me, he has no formal art education but that didn’t stop him from building a career on what he is passionate in.
“Just paint daily,” he said. Whether it is a simple study or a full artwork, he advised not to end the day without creating anything. This echoes how my uncle reminded me when I mentioned that I only draw ‘sometimes.’ Being an artist, like any other profession, takes a lot of diligence. You can’t move forward in your career if you do not clock in some work.
Despite a compilation lackluster sketches in my Instagram account, I should not be discouraged. Just draw.