In the midst of commissions, prepping for my pop up at West Elm (check my IG for more on how that went), and feeling like crap physically (more on this later), I've been quietly playing in the studio with new color mixing/color combinations, tools like screen printing squeegees, and a different style. Just experimenting, imitating to see what fits, and exploring what elements I can adopt and use to evolve + expand my own process of expression. It's a fun but also head scratching aspect of the growing process as I question where to go next + what dead pieces to prune away & leave behind and what to continue to carry with me.
What works? What doesn't? Does it add distinction to my work or simply make it "trendy" (i.e. commercial enough to sell)? What scares me about going darker, weirder, about deconstruction in general? All questions currently rumbling through my brain that can only be answered as I continue to play and hone in on my artistic voice. I'm not completely sure what's next stylistically, (or even conceptually, kinda, maybe) but I'm committed to the process of finding out and to trusting where the Muse leads.
I conceptualized and submitted three solo exhibition proposals and submitted work to other local group shows this summer. All were rejected, so I'm also processing that. Rejection #51 was hardest to absorb out of the other 50 submissions & rejections this year, mostly because the work I created for it is such a vulnerable expression of my origins and story. I wasn't able to see why it hit me so hard until my new therapist gently laid it out in front of me with a question: "What if the impact of this rejection pierces deeper than others because of the content of your work-what if it's because you feel like it's a rejection of you ...of your lived experience and what you've been fighting so hard against for much of your life?"
It was a question that made my heart constrict painfully in recognition that she was right. Trying to vocalize a response in that moment was a failure because tears quickly closed my throat shut, so I just weakly nodded.
Summer is waning and I spent much of August fortifying myself against the annual arrival of my SAD symptoms on top of feeling pretty awful physically. I'm committing the rest of 2016 to taking a break from trying to put myself and my work "out there" + production/quantity, prioritizing my physical health in a way I haven't in at least a year, and going inward to get attuned to where I need to go next creatively. Craving silence, retreat, breathing room, rest, and exploration. Doing my best to lean into my desire for those things and embrace the shifting. We'll see how it goes.