"Do you love your job?"
"No. not right now"
The room falls a bit silent.
God why are you saying that Gee? Why? Seriously this is a person who needs you to tell them you love this shit. That photography is the most incredible thing ever.
The truth tumbled out like a dick joke at a family gathering... awkward and misplaced. I was in a class of students. We were talking about life in the real world of photography. And I guess for a split second I wanted to tell the, horrible, honest, gut-wrenching truth.
I called a friend. "Why did I say that? Am I a fucking idiot?"
"Nah Gee, your just too real sometimes. You're that asshole who looks someone in the eye and gives it straight. It fucks you up sometimes, but would you rather lie to them?"
I swore long ago not to lie to students. Not to pretend this is a perfect world. To give it to them straight. To tell them its gonna suck but to keep going.
But the question of why I hate the making process right now has been in my head for months. Why for the first time ever I had to admit - I don't want to be an artist right now.
My creativity feels wrecked by years and years of making her do the work. Of forcing shit up hill that doesn't always push. Guys, you see the super shiny happy side to this. You see the awards won and the work that's made and the best parts of the showreel. You don't see the sweat and tears behind closed doors.
"So do you like your job? Really?"
"No, I don't love this right now"
"The pressure to successful at every turn is pretty extreme. The pressure to make every image I have ever made into a high selling gold award is pretty awful. I'm not in love with that. I don't love living in the public eye so much, I don't love making work that's sale-able and worrying if it is sale-able. I am terrified I'll never make another Tribute to Carl Sagan even if its not rational because the past has told me that I always come back swinging bigger and better than before.
I want the world to go a bit quiet. But it won't. It's always going to be this way and the more I love and do this work, the louder its going to get.
I'm terrified because the truth is that I would rather play a ukulele badly than use a camera well. I would rather finish a video game than finish this work that has been my lifes work."
"Then why the fuck are you doing it Gee? Just stop. Leave it all behind"
That question has been kicking me in the guts for days.
And I guess when it comes down to it, as tantalising as the mistress of distraction is, she doesn't understand that me and Creativity have a thing. When we work, we really nail it. When we make, we push past even our own wildest expectations. Distraction is fun, but its a blowjob on the side in comparision to full blown love.
This is the longest relationship I have ever had. I treat Creativity like her very own being. Because she is. This is a life long marriage and like marriage - you work at it. Some days suck, Some days (like today) you have your head in your hands crying because, that creativity bitch? She decided not to show up. Somedays are magical - They are the best feeling in the world. Maybe I'm fighting back to the magic.
Maybe I miss her, but dont know how to look her in the eye.
Shes disagreeing with me at every turn. She invited her friend the critic to our private date night and now...
...Critic and Creativity are nit picking everything and Im angry.
But I know what this means. I know I haven't been loving her enough. I haven't looked her in the eye for a while and told her how beautiful she is. I avoided her. I know all that terror is her trying to call me back to this thing I do.
Then theres the little voice again, "Go home you fucking idiot. You know this will work itself out"
So here I am. Fighting with the thing I adore the most in the world. Begging her to come back to me and help me work.
And were gonna do it. We aways do.
But art is hard, feeling this open and vulnerable about not making alot of personal work lately feels weak. What a white girl issue.
Maybe I just need to admit, I need a cheer squad. Maybe me and creativity, we need our community to get us past the rough patch. Maybe we need to say we need some help. Some wise inspirational words from our creative brethren.
We aren't done yet. We promise you we aren't done. We know this is normal. We know in theory, we are frustrated - wich is good, Because frustration means we are about to have a massive breakthrough... this pain? It means we are on the path...