Today marks the one year anniversary of the opening of my most successful exhibition to date. I am still elated to see how well it went and inspired to create the next one.
but I am also beginning to realize how pervasive my post exhibition depression was.
you see, I’m a little bit of an expert in Post Exhibition Depression now, and I thought I had all my bases covered. I had Plans. I had projects lined up to take the place of this exhibition and experiments to do. I was looking forward to them!
Then I had the exhibition and it was better than I could have ever expected. I raised more money for the Mission to Seafarers than any of their other artists. I was probably the happiest I have ever been- the art world was mine to conquer!
But it turns out there is only so much you can push your body before it snaps and the very next day I got sick. and I stayed sick for a few weeks.
Then we had a holiday to plan and be excited about – and there was no point in my starting all my exciting projects just before we went away, so I resolved to wait until after the trip and start with a fresh slate.
Except that after the trip I got sick. again. worse than ever. this time it was months before I was better. and my studio lay gathering dust.
Finally I felt better. finally it was time to start on these new projects!
But I didn’t count on losing something. I didn’t count on the loss of my Shirt. you know the shirt that has been in all my photos, the shirt that I have had since I was about 12. this shirt that has seen me though VCE, and university and my whole art career? the Shirt that contains all my mojo and luck.
how can I paint without my Shirt?
and then it happened. Bam.
I’m worthless without my shirt. I will never paint again, I will never top that exhibition. how can I top it anyway?
it’s not like I thought those statements, it’s not like I said them out loud. it’s more something I felt in my heart. something insurmountable that I couldn’t get past. it had been too long since I painted. it had been too long since I worked. it’s like I forgot how. I stopped posting on my Facebook page, I stopped updating my blog.
I did do research, I did plan for the next exhibition, everything except painting because painting was something I just couldn’t handle. my Post Exhibition Depression set in to the point where I couldn’t see a way to continue. the projects I assigned myself were meaningless. I stopped caring about just about anything. it wasn’t that I was sad, it was that I just didn’t feel anymore. and without feelings you really can’t create art.
I tried to force myself into the studio. I tried to get riled up, I tried everything I could think of, but sometimes you just have to let these things run their course.
I hate letting things run their course.
so finally I am starting to feel myself lift out of that daze. sometimes I feel almost normal and I have felt the need to go paint and the need to let people know about my work.
but now I want to be honest and let you know that it’s not always easy. it’s not always something you can just shake off. I’m trying really hard. I will be back in the game, I will win.