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Feelings of personal failure vs artistic progress?

October 19th, 2008 (09:53 pm)

current mood: drunk and contemplative
current song: Swallow, Emilie Autumn

I have been busying myself with a few oil paintings recently (no pictures since I don't have a decent camera) which has been very effective in making me not think about being ugly, kind of lonely and generally pretty useless. (Which seems to have been more or less a theme for about a year.)
I wonder if the fact that I've been doing artistically well (At least I think I have.) has any connection with my personal life being more or less of a fiasco?
As in; the feelings of failure that accompanies my personal life means that I put more energy into painting because in a painting it doesn't really matter what I look like, if I'm loved/liked/seen as a freakish thing or whatnot. (Also, the uglier I feel the more hesitant I am to go out and mingle with people, which in turn gives me more time to paint.)
Actually, I have no idea what the devil I'm talking about right now. (I should run away before I'm arrested for typing under the influence of alcohol. Haha!)

"Run awaaaaaaay!"


Posted by: the_elyan (the_elyan)
Posted at: October 19th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)

Well, I like what you post of your art, and I don;t recall you as being in the slightest ugly. Quite the reverse.

Loneliness and uselessness I fear I can't help with, being both myself.

All we have left in the stores are these *hugs* - they might be a bit squashed in transit, but hopefully they'll help a bit.

Posted by: Illflower (lady_illflower)
Posted at: October 20th, 2008 11:14 am (UTC)

Mmmmm, transit-squashed-hugs. ^_^ Appreciated.

Thank you, by the way, I'm glad you like my doodles.

Posted by: princess mark (fluffymark)
Posted at: October 19th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)

No no no, you are pretty and nice. I might be biased, and you don't have to believe me, but that's what I see, and I know what I like and I like you. You are lovely. :)

I'd visit you more often if I could, but sadly I have no holiday left this year, so I can't visit you until next year at the earliest. You're always welcome here, anytime you like. I want to see you!

Sometimes life is lonely, and it sucks. I've been feeling lonely a lot since returning from Japan, but not all the time.

Looking forward to seeing your new paintings sometime. If you're willing to part with some there's always space on my wall for your pretty art. :)

Posted by: Illflower (lady_illflower)
Posted at: October 20th, 2008 11:08 am (UTC)

You don't have to come visit, silly, it's my turn after all. ^_^ (Besides, there are people in England I kind of want to see. Even Hilde from Trinity has been poking me to come visit.) I'm actually sort of looking at coming over for a weekend or something in the not too distant future. (Can I camp out at your place if I do?)

I'm mainly lonely because my social skills are made of Fail, so it's my own fault.
Aww, poor you. *pet, pet* (I don't really feel that sorry for you, 'cause you got to go to Japan and I didn't... *teasing poke*)

I'm thinking of suggesting to my mum that a good christmas/birthday present would be a good camera... if she catches on then maybe there will be pictures. ^_^

Posted by: optimystic (libellum)
Posted at: October 20th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)

You! England! If you have any time in your schedule, it would be SO GOOD to see you. I have missed you. You could come over and meet my kitten and we could spent an evening doing art together?

Posted by: Illflower (lady_illflower)
Posted at: October 22nd, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)

Doing art together sounds like it could be really fun! It'd be great to see you again too.
I'll just have to arrange time and stuff so I can go over to England... *pokes schedule with a stick*

Posted by: princess mark (fluffymark)
Posted at: October 20th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)

You are very welcome at my place if you come to England. Just give me some warning, although in theory you've very welcome just to turn up on my doorstep!

I think a good camera would be an excellent present for you. :)

Posted by: Bat (doseybat)
Posted at: October 20th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)

I second the "pretty and nice"!
And you must come to visit London *bounces excitedly*

Posted by: Illflower (lady_illflower)
Posted at: October 22nd, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)

Yes... I really must! I want to see all you lovely people again too.
(And I need to go by Cambridge too... I'm STILL oddly "homesick" for Cambridge.)

Posted by: radagast (aiwendel)
Posted at: October 19th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)

gosh it always surprises me when you talk about yourself as ugly when you are actually very pretty!! I guess we can't always see it in ourselves though. I hope you realise it one day though.

Re the mood and the art. I used to think that... when I was doing good art etc at school that the talent came with the misery... and I was severely reprimanded by my (amazingly talented wonderful wise) viola teacher who pointed out that when utterly miserable even geniuses tend to do nothing and have dry patches, and do best when happy (and probably manic). Actually he dissed the entire misery->art theory much more than that and proclaimed it as irrelevant.

I don't think you have to be miserable to do well. But if you are miserable pouring the energy into your work is definitely and excellent thing to do (and then we get to see pretty things too :)


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: radagast (aiwendel)
Posted at: October 20th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)

fulfillment... maybe, in terms of hours in the day available to do art in there is a problem.
I don't think I've seen a correlation for art, but I tend to play more music when feeling happy and emotionally fulfilled. I do tend to bracket art and music in the same box, but perhaps that's unfair. hmmmm I'll think about that :)

Posted by: Illflower (lady_illflower)
Posted at: October 20th, 2008 10:53 am (UTC)

Actually I didn't mean exactly that. (I'm clumsy in expressing myself. ^_^)
I don't currently see myself as particularly miserable, I'm actually pretty happy at the moment (although in a post-manic, knackered, sort of way), painting is going well, studies aren't going at all badly, more work would be good but I'm ok financially... just got a new batch of books... I'm actually in rather a cheerful mood.
I wasn't so much talking about misery but rather about ones personal life being something of a flop and that what one feel one is lacking there is sort of made up for in art.
Art as a sort of refuge which enables one to actually avoid misery.

(And I agree, being depressed generally just leads to hiding under the duvet.)

Posted by: optimystic (libellum)
Posted at: October 20th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)

Funnily enough, I was thinking of posting the other day about something similar to this. I was thinking maybe a poll asking if people are more creative/productive when they're happy or unhappy.

In the past, nothing has made me more useless than unhappiness. When things have been going wrong or there's something upsetting me, I've been totally at the mercy of my emotions, and unable to do anything other than mooch around getting nothing done until I feel better.

But recently, I've found an inner energy which allows me to respond to stressful or depressing situations by being super-productive. It's a really good thing - it helps me feel better, and I get stuff done! Win!

It is easier to focus on work when there aren't amazing things going on to distract you. I definitely get that. I think it's a really intricate balance. And then there's collaborative art, which is productive AND fun and exciting, which skews it in a very pleasant way :)

Posted by: princess mark (fluffymark)
Posted at: October 20th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)

I think it depends very much on the source of the unhappiness. I find that unhappiness from depression or despair leads doesn't lend itself to productivity, whereas unhappiness sourced from anger or a sense of being wronged, leads to intense artistic outbursts. When I'm happy, I don't put my energy into art, as I'm usually wallowing in the happiness. :)

Posted by: Illflower (lady_illflower)
Posted at: October 22nd, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)

Yes... that's sort of what I was talking about. Not like actual depression, because that generally just leaves me totally useless. Rather of art as partly a sort of refuge from life (which I've found is depressing, dissapointing and generally unpleasant a lot of the time) and partly a way to deal with the general unpleasantness of life. Does that make any sort of sense?

I'm most productive when I'm manic... but following that is probably when I'm kind of using art as a substitute for a "real" life. Heh.

Hrm... I don't really know... just random thoughts.

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