This particular blog post is written mostly for myself as both consolation and a reminder. Consolation in a time of creative pain, and a reminder that it will indeed happen again. My hope, however, is that other artists might find solace in these words.
Before I am labeled as a drama queen for dedicating an entire blog post to one lost painting, let me just make my case. Much of my identity is staked in my profession. I live and breathe this stuff. It is the platform on which I will build my legacy, and the sky under which I thrive. I am completely sold out to this medium, and I'm willing to bet money that I'm not the only one.
I lost a painting the other day. But what exactly does that mean? I posted a photo of it on Instagram and got so much love-people were responding so well to it! In fact (as painful as it is to admit) I was getting a better response to this than to some that I considered ground breaking to my practice!
If my goal were to simply get a good response on social media, I would have called it a day and been on to the next one. But thats not the goal.
There is a gap that exists between your head and your hands. In your head lies the idea, and in your hands lies the ability (or inability) to make that idea a reality. It is the job of the artist to bridge that gap. And, in this case, I was not able to do so. At the moment, this meant one of two things: either the idea was too lofty and bridging the gap was simply not possible, or that it was possible but I didn't possess the capability to do so. Both circumstances, however, shared one ruinous implication: I am limited. There are few other circumstances in my life that have had the emotional equivalent of feeling like I fell short in the one area I felt I excelled.
Any good narrative might offer a "feel-good" turn of events at this point, starting with a grand epiphany that results in my triumphant return-a little worse for wear but all the wiser. This is not that narrative. I still feel like I failed because I did. I did not bridge the gap. Whether it's because the chasm was far too wide, or because my hands are simply ill-equipped, I lost this one.
The consolation in all of this is that I have a lifetime of opportunities to try again, and I am not going to wait that long before I do. In fact, rest assured that if you're reading this I'm working on it again. I might absolutely tank it again, and odds are I will. That is the reminder. You're gonna lose another one. And thats okay.