Friday, September 27, 2013

I Used to Think Eating Paper and Throwing Things Was Only Appropriate for Kindergartners (Wreck This Journal Week 5)

I've been wanting to do an action post on the vlog for a few weeks now. I hadn't realize that it would end up featuring extended footage of me shoving paper into my facehole.

Also Featured: Fire, Mud, Shoelaces, and my Incredibly Inept Left Hand.

Catch up on all the glory below, and don't forget to shoot us a comment if there's a page you'd like to see featured next!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Challenge #22: Hold Yourself Accountable - With A Little Help From Your Friends

Happy 100th post, everybody!!

Here at the Art Abyss, we've had our ups and downs - after all, starting - and keeping up with - a goal can be an exhausting process! In last week's challenge, Kadie talked about how sometimes it can be hard to keep going. This week, I want to talk about what to do once you've decided you will.

Let's take it personal for a moment:

I graduated with a BFA in studio art and a BA in creative writing, with a minor in vocal music. I'll give you one guess as to which of these fields I'm actually working in these days.

. . .


You may remember that me alluding to this before. While you can make the case that doing graphic design and writing advertising copy counts as using my art and writing degrees - and if you did, you wouldn't be wrong - but those activities have very little to do with the large-scale paintings, drawings, sculptures, poems, and songs that currently exist only in my head.

While driving home the other night, Chad and I got to talking about the Daniel Batten article I posted last week, and Batten's idea that "you are what you practice." One of the reasons I love having Chad as my life partner/unpaid therapist is his ability to really push me on an issue, without judging or invalidating my emotions. In this case, it was the fact that for the last two years I have made only the smallest attempts towards art creation, and that while I keep chalking it up as "needing a steady base to work from," the reality is that I still - STILL - have no idea how to go about "becoming a professional artist." I've read the articles, I've talked to successful artists, I've taken the classes and webinars -- but it still makes absolutely no sense to me. I keep waiting to wake up one day with the realization of, "Oh, that's how you become an artist!"

Over the course of our conversation, we arrived at the specter of me as an eternal dreamer, always coming up with grand ideas but never following through on any of them. I start something, but then I get overwhelmed, or scared, or other things become more urgent, or I lose interest, etc. etc. etc., and then I move on and never think of my forsaken project again, except for the occasional guilty twinge when I see it lurking on a shelf. Icky, right? I could hardly sleep after that talk, I was so wound up with frustration and anxiety over what my practice has become.

The next morning, I decided I needed to take drastic, conscious action. And that's when Kadie had a brilliant idea:


Welcome to the new, ongoing challenge we're starting at The Art Abyss. Kadie has a book to publish. I have a portfolio website to design. We both have realized that we do a pretty poor job of staying accountable to ourselves -- as Evita sings, "It's very difficult to keep momentum when it's you that you are following."

Absolutely true -- which is why, starting this Monday, Kadie charged me with completing the initial design for my site, and I charged her with editing the first chapter of her book. We have until Friday, October 4th to complete our assignments, at which point we will also be sharing our progress with all of you.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: We've created a Facebook Group to help even more accountabili-buddies get connected. Whether you want to be responsible to one person, or would rather have a whole group of people cheer you along, we're thinking it's just about time we take this holding ourselves accountable business seriously. And that means reaching out for a helping hand.

To sum up -- ladies and gentlemen, your challenge:
  1. Get yourself an accountabili-buddy, STAT.
  2. Give each other a goal to reach by Friday, 10/4.
That doesn't seem too hard now, does it?