2018 was one hell of a year.
However, to regurgitate one of the age-old clichés, it was a year of highs and lows.
Amongst the travel and new connections and freedom there was pure confusion, indecision, inertia.
It seemed as though with each new residency or group exhibition, I lost the ability to make work ‘just because’, and every time I’d sit down to paint it would turn into an arduous mental challenge to produce the next great masterpiece.
Of course, this behaviour is completely counterintuitive and has zero validity in the life of an artist.
I felt as though, through my work in 2018, I was trying to run before I could walk - create work that was polished and coherent and neat without allowing myself to jump the necessary hurdles of making a lot of genuinely shit work first.
I had an idea of what I wanted my work to be (what it would represent, how it would look), yet absolutely no idea how to get there, and rather than allowing this to play out naturally through experimenting with new work, I fell into this weird stagnation, where the thought of painting became too overwhelming that I sacked it off altogether.
After having some serious contemplation time over the new year, I’ve decided that I’m adamant I will not let this spool over into 2019. I am committing to painting (or drawing, or collage, or ceramics) for at least 1 hour per week.
I’m really hopeful that having this teeny slice of dedicated time, will really add up over the weeks. In the spirit of setting achievable goals, I think this one is simple and small enough for me to actually stick to.
A friend of mine recently told me to accept the confusion that comes with making art. Swim in it and work with it, not against it. Here’s to a year of making work that means nothing in particular, or everything all at once. Here’s to sticking to my weekly art quota, and seeing the results accumulate. Here’s to seeing my work develop exponentially, because it’s no ones responsibility but my own.