Friday, February 20, 2009

Prove Yourself

Along with not having a job to go to comes a lot of time on my hands. 

I was hoping that my freedom would slowly make my creativity come back. After 5 years in business school and 6 years of non-creative work my creative bubble has shrunk to the size of a pea.

And come back it did. My creative bubble grew and grew and finally burst with a loud bang. 

My brain is like an over-soaked sponge dripping with ideas I'd like to pursue. 

Since coming to the land of plenty I have been:

*Taking a sewing class
*Taking a class in which I made an ottoman
*Painted every wall in every room in the house (except the storage rooms) in a different color
*Renovated at least three pieces of furniture
*Made one scarf and started a new project
*Sewn a bag
*Made my own chicken stock and two roast chicken
*Tried out at least 10 different cookie recipes
*and many more normal dinner recipes that I have never made before

One of my newest projects is to make my own face cream. I have all the ingredients and just have to get started. I actually I don't know if this all counts as being creative but it feels like it. Luckily I don't start a project and then get bored of it. I want to do all of those things and keep on doing them.

Most of the stuff I am learning to do has to do with the house. I was confident that I could turn this apartment into "me". Into a place I would love to be in, a place that is unique and different and reflects my own and Es personality. 
I think I managed pretty well so far. But there is one thing missing.

Wall art.

I could buy it. Sure. But I feel a tad too old to hang my Klimt posters on the wall or a Van Gogh print of Starry, starry night. I was looking at original art. I could be an art collector!
Unfortunately I quickly found out that original art that looks good starts at around $500. Maybe some other time.

Or - I could just make my own. I am studying Photography after all, so it might be a good idea to hang up some of the stuff I made. Only that most of my best work is semi-nudes of people I know. Hanging those up in my living room would be awkward. To say the least. And it's not like my photos look particularly artsy either. They are just plain nakedness in high contrast black and white.
I decided that I will do one room of my tame pictures (landscapes and such) but for the other rooms I will have to come up with something else.

After some thinking I decided I will now dabble into painting. In my excitement I spent some money at an art supply store. I bought a book on watercolor painting, some paint, paper, water color, oil color. So now the only problem is that I haven't painted a thing in about 12 years and I am not very good at painting either.

It wasn't always like that. Until I was 10 years old whenever somebody asked what I wanted to be when I am all grown up I would say "painter". I was mostly drawing, not painting so much but I did it all the time. At three years old I couldn't write but I wanted to write down the fairy tales that I had made up in my head, so I drew them.  My mom kept on telling me I was incredibly talented which made me think I would  eventually become the next Picasso. I did not yet know about the "My mom says I'm cool!"-factor. Since I really like to draw but didn't like painting so much I eventually decided I better become a graphic designer. This was my plan until I was 12 years old (except that I also wanted to be a professional wrestler and a movie star. But who doesn't). I had always been the best at drawing in my class but then we had that assignment. The assignment was to draw a poster, either about a movie or a pop album. The young, smug, show-off I was I painted a movie poster for "Dead Man Walking". Nobody (not even my teacher) knew what the movie was about and nobody was impressed. Another girl, let's call her B. had painted a picture of Genesis doing their dance from "I can't dance". It was awesome. It looked great and realistic and people KNEW Genesis and were impressed!
There was somebody who could clearly draw and paint much better than me and that didn't even want to be a painter. How could I possibly want to do this as a career if there are people who do a way better job than me and don't even appreciate it? I gave up and ended up going to business school instead. Today young B. has a career as an insurance sales lady. Oh the wasted talent! 

I did however take up Photography as a hobby. I am not sure why I didn't give that up because the first few years I was an absolutely awful photographer! I tried to do artsy and took pictures of eggs, covered in shaving foam on our washing machine. You'd think that this would at least look interesting but it didn't. 

I just found one of the old pictures and scanned it in - so this is an "The Austrian" original from about 1994:

Yes, this is indeed and egg on top of a curler surrounded by other curlers on top of a washing machine
Don't ask me what it means

But I kept on trying and taking many, many classes in Austria and Holland and I got much better at taking pictures. 
If I would have not given up drawing and would have taken classes, maybe I could have become good at that too, who knows.

But I didn't. And now, more than 10 years later I am excited to take up painting and drawing again. I am not expecting to be good at it. I just want to have something that looks good enough to put on our walls.

And if it doesn't work out, I'll always have the Klimt posters


contrarybear said...

You don't have to be good at painting if you make abstract pictures. Then you can always say you MEANT it to come out looking like that.

bubbly said...

It sounds like you should add art classes to your list of artistic ventures. =) Or just dabble at home and see what happens...

The photo thing is great too. Do you have any travel photos you like? Just thinking here of the photos Mel put in her house from China. Sometimes enlarging and properly printing a photo suddenly turns it into something quite gorgeous and professional looking.