Checkup from an artist to an artist

Drip, drip, drip… 

Striking the match and drip dropping

it in the sink on a bad day.

Worse day.

Creaky, cracky faucet shrieks

as the knobs are turned––

Full speed ahead! 

All the water released, falling to its

death far below on the drainless

porcelain bowl.

Splash! Full speed ahead!

I am an overflowing sink.

What happens when waterfalls

lose their spectacle?

Hey! It’s your friendly neighborhood Arts Editor, Katy! 

I wrote this poem this week during my only in-person class. Sometimes, my creative mind can’t help but wander to poetic places and BAM! Before I know it, my fingers have opened a new, untitled document, and I’m silently babbling away. The thing about making art like this is you’re almost sitting in a fugue state as the stuff flows out of you. The imagery could be gross, like vomited poetry all over my Macbook screen. Or it could be seen as something incredible—a small piece of magic for only you to hold. Like when a child is given the sharing stick and for just a short moment, they can talk as much as they want.

For me, art is my escape. There’s something fundamental about the act of creating for me. Without it, I kind of go crazy. I become more irritable. My sense of self worth drops. I, well, feel like an overflowing sink. Art gives me clarity. It allows for my body and spirit to exhale. 

We’ve come to a point in our strange semester when things don’t feel so new anymore. I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person who adores nothing more than that back-to-school spurt of motivation. This year, my new school year induced kick was to work on becoming physically fit. And, surprisingly, I’ve (mostly) kept to it! 

But now, like an hourglass down to one last fragment of sand, that new inspired feeling is gone. Things are settling. Things are getting stressful. Midterms and exams for half-semester classes are approaching quickly. 

Allow me to talk directly to the artists out there. Don’t worry if you aren’t an artist or don’t consider yourself one; you will probably relate to this. Here’s a secret: most of it is not artist-specific; it is human-specific.

As an artist, there seems to be two kinds of modus operandi. 

You’re either the type-A person who wants to be on top of things, always creating something new and better on a strict schedule. What happens when you don’t? It’s easy to feel a sense of worthlessness, like maybe your art isn’t good enough. Maybe you should give up. 

Or you’re the type-B person. Art comes to you when it comes to you, and that’s okay. You are typically more laid back about creating. What happens when the right ideas or feelings don’t come? Suddenly, you might fall into thinking you weren’t meant to be an artist. Maybe you should give up. 

And hey, maybe you’re neither of these people. Chances are, you’re varying degrees of both. But, whether you’re Monet in his lavish garden or the woman that performs violin on 8th Street, doubt is about as natural for an artist as the actual creation of the stuff. This feeling, mixed with the pressure of classes, can quickly create a feeling of hopelessness in an artist. Without the act of creating, things start to get muddled and overwhelming.

So I’m here at the beginning of this week to check up on you. How are you, sweet artist? Where are you in this scale of stress? Take a minute. Evaluate. Any physical discomfort? Mental? Emotional? Occupational? Do the full self examination. 

We are entering week six. (Can you believe it?) As we embark on this strange middle-of-the-semester sadness, I encourage you to give yourself a checkup every now and again. Where are you creatively? Academically? How’s your general well-being?

Maybe tonight you don’t work so hard on getting ahead in your studies. Maybe you take an hour, or two or three and write, draw, sing, play an instrument or whatever it is that makes you feel whole. 

Now that you’re taking that time to be creative, I want you to remember something: not every piece will be or should be your magnum opus. You will write your Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” You will make your Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party.” It will come in time. Sometimes, however, art is just art. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Your hand is to the page. Your fingers are on the keys. Are you stuck? Please, let me provide you with some fun prompts!

Katy Smith (‘23) is a communications major, theatre and writing minor at Hope. Her passions lie in the arts, specifically playwriting, poetry, performing, and any music that makes you feel wanderlust. She is so honored to be the Anchor’s Arts Editor! She strives to give Hope’s wonderful arts programs the platform they deserve.

'Checkup from an artist to an artist' has 1 comment

  1. September 26, 2020 @ 1:54 am Online Kültür Sanat Platformu

    Some truly fantastic content on this website, appreciate it for contribution.


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