Do you know the feeling of something missing in your life? Some mystery hole that’s gaping next to you wherever you go? It has become so familiar that you don’t even think about it anymore. You know exactly where to step to avoid it. But every so often there’s a whisper coming out of this crack in the pavement of your life’s path and it keeps you awake at night. When the whisper turns into a constant chatter you start to feel a diffuse pain and longing, so you try to ignore it. You work harder, run faster and longer and there – the murmur subsides. But that yawning black chasm is still there. Lingering next to you like a shadow. So you turn off the light. There are no shadows in the dark.
This exact game I played for the last several years of my life. I tried everything to take on the dark spot: I yelled into it only to be greeted by stark silence, I tried to turn away from my chosen path of life but the emptiness followed swiftly along like a faithful dog. A few times I even took to more desperate measures and tried to jump in but I could barely fit my hand into the fissure. So I eventually resolved to instead of running away from it, waiting patiently and letting the daemon creep up on me. After all, I knew the specter that haunted me all too well. I once lived with it in a loving embrace. Until I let it go. Or it slipped away. I can’t remember. But I lost it and the longer it was gone, the more afraid I was to face it and take it on again. I thought it was time to live without it but apparently that wasn’t intended. Maybe I simply had to take a break from it in order to appreciate its return the more. So life kept it at my side to have it jump up on me when I finally slowed down, relaxed and showed myself worthy to embrace inspiration and creativity once more.
So what is this black whole, this daemon-like shadow that snatched at my feet when I almost lost all hope of ever resolving the silent dialogue with this pleasant intruder? It is painting. Drawing. And dancing to music 🙂 Though I think the latter simply comes with the first two. From early childhood until some time in my early or mid 30ies I was a sucker for painting and drawing. Heck, I even pondered joining the School of Art and Design to get a Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design and Illustration for a while. However, at some point my passion for everything color and graphite took off and I turned to other hobbies. Or I simply worked more. I honestly don’t recall what caused the split but I always felt a certain sorrow for having lost the close relationship with something as intriguing as art. At the beginning, it was merely the realization that with every day I didn’t practice I would lose some of my abilities. For it is with painting and drawing as it is with most other things: One might be more gifted than the other but in the end it all comes down to the 10’000 hours of practice. Even the most talented artist will never find his own style without sufficient practice. But to get to the 10’000 hours you have to be really passionate about what you’re doing or it will turn into a task, work even. So the more time passed without me practicing the more I dreaded to pick up a pencil or brush again. For I knew I would have to catch up with a lot of training and I would certainly disappoint myself in the beginning. For I am very hard on myself, harder than on anyone else. So the longer I waited the more I dreaded the moment of truth. I tried it a few times but as I said, I didn’t get anything more than my hand to stick into the fissure of creation. Whatever I attempted, I put myself under too much pressure and failed miserably, only creating blotches of colors and wretched stick figures. There’s no forcing creation. The muse of inspiration has to come and touch you on her free will. Else nothing cheerful will come from it.
Though the muse can be a real beast, a bitch even, she didn’t let me down. She tapped her finger on my shoulder when I was ready for her and the challenges she would bring on. I am happy about it, very happy indeed. Giddy with pleasure, even, for drawing is addictive. Like a junky I can jot down little thought up patterns or doodles in the middle of the night or all day long. I’m aware that this initial frenzy will subside after a while so I’m enjoying the thrill of it as long as it lasts. Hoping that at least the passion will stay for good this time. I would feel honored. For I think it a shame if someone has a talent and lets it go to waste. And there certainly is some kind of talent in my family that I seem to have inherited. At least my close ones tell me so. Accordingly delighted are they, too, about my regained love for pencil, ink and paint.
→ Now I would like to read from you – is there anything in your life you lost on the way, never to return or only after several years? If it didn’t come back (so far), how do you feel about it? And in case it did return, was it difficult to take it up again (like bicycling – you never forget how to do it – or rather like using a language – it will certainly take a while to get into it again)?
Let me know, I’d love to be inspired!
PS: A special thank you goes out to my beloved husband who made all of this possible in the first place. Without his consent and encouragement I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the calm and peace of my current life-style which, I am convinced, allowed the shoulder-tapping muse to tackle me down and instill creativity and inspiration into me once more.
Resources & Sources
I have to admit I am getting a lot of inspiration from the internet these days. Some of my little monsters and patterns may look similar to other ones you will find in doodling pictures. But be aware that my intention is not simply to copy but to learn: The method of learning that has always worked best for me is imitating and copying. Once I master the basics I am free to develop my own style; no matter if it’s in painting, drawing, speaking a language, dancing, snowboarding etc. So if you find a piece of your art here – don’t feel fleeced but flattered: Your work inspired me!
Lasst mich eure Geschichten wissen, ich würde mich freuen, so inspiriert zu werden!PS: Ein spezieller Dank geht an meinen geliebten Ehemann, der dies alles erst möglich gemacht hat. Ohne sein Einverständnis und seine Unterstützung könnte ich diese Ruhe und den Frieden meines momentanen Lebens nicht so geniessen. Und eben diese Ruhe, so bin ich überzeugt, hat es der Schulter-klopfenden Muse erlaubt, mich zu überwältigen und mir einmal mehr Kreativität und Inspiration einzuflössen.–Ressourcen und Quellen
Zugegeben, dieser Tage hole ich mir viel Inspiration im Internet. Einige meiner kleinen Monster und Muster mögen ähnlich aussehen wie die auf anderen Doodle Bildern. Doch sei gewahr dass es nicht meine Absicht ist, einfach zu kopieren, sondern zu lernen: Die Lernmethode, die für mich immer am besten funktioniert hat ist Imitieren und Kopieren. Wenn ich einmal die Grundlagen begriffen habe, kann ich meinen eigenen Stil entwickeln; egal ob es sich um Malen, Zeichnen oder das Sprechen einer Sprache, Tanzen, Snowboarden etc. handelt. Solltest du also ein Stück deiner eigenen Kunst hier wiederfinden – fühl dich nicht abgezockt sondern geehrt: Deine Arbeit hat mich inspiriert!