A Non-Nuptial Post

July 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

This week I broke open my Artbin.  The one I transported from Colorado at some forgotten point in the last two years and moved from shelf to shelf, cracking the lid only once to retrieve my X-acto knife.  For the first in time five years, the first time since graduating from college, I opened the bin to paint.  With each year that I did not paint, I became more and more hesitant to do so, feeling self-conscious about the possibility of losing my tenuous abilities without practice.  As Cesar continues to remind me, though, lack of practice is not equivalent to loss of the basic skill.

Cesar has supported my every decision for the last two years that we have been together (with all the wedding planning, we both completely forgot to celebrate our two-year anniversary last week), including quitting a full-time job with benefits in order to take on freelance projects I would not otherwise have been able to accomplish.  He has been endlessly patient with my repeated bouts of career anxiety, the ones that have caused me to take on projects that I’m not so enthusiastic about, which only complicate and decrease the enjoyment of the projects I am enthusiastic about.  His constant advice is to stop worrying about working for the moment and take advantage of the free time I’ve created for myself by exploring the things I like to do.

I struggle to be honest with myself about my feelings toward the career path I’ve been following, but the truth is that I’ve been forcing myself to stick with something that I don’t fully enjoy because I’ve been equating a change in career with defeat and failure, and because I worry about letting down the people who have helped me get as far as I have.  Factor in economic and job market considerations, and yikes!  Career anxiety levels through the roof!  It has also taken me a couple years and many conversations with my mom, an HR wiz, to realize that my innate talents and my learned skill set are transferrable.  She has told me again and again that professionals in my age group will experience multiple career changes in their lifetime.

So getting back to the Artbin, I finally took a day to ignore my worries and spend some time getting reacquainted with my watercolors (and some white acrylic).

In addition to Cesar’s encouragement, I have been feeling very inspired by Stina Persson’s style, and I keep seeing her illustrations across the web.  I’ve been trying to figure out how she achieves the look, whether she masks off the negative space that ultimately becomes the human form prior to laying down the watercolors or if the watercolors come first and the figures are painted or printed on top.  Either way, the look is incredible.

I didn’t do any masking. I laid down the water first until it sat on top of the paper, then introduced the color and allowed it to disperse and flow with the water.  I’d never painted this way before and found it to be a lot of fun.

And fun was the goal, after all.  So while I’ll continue to send off online job applications, and welcome any job recommendations from New York friends who know of any openings (other than costuming, please), I’m going to paint more between now and the wedding and do my best to ease up on the self-induced anxiety.

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