"I am the artist equivalent of a controlling spouse"
It's been a whirlwind of activity for me as of late. I've had 3 projects on the go, a short film called 'Triggered', building props for 'Arrow' and working on my upcoming EP of course. On top of it all I've been trying to take better care of myself by engaging in a daily physical self-care routine of yoga, weight lifting and swimming. Taking care of myself has been harder for me than I care to admit. This is due to the fact that I don't like to admit that there's anything wrong with me that would require me to take time away from my creative pursuits. I am after all, addicted to being busy.
Unfortunately this constant productivity isn't sustainable because as much as I hate to admit it, I am not a machine, I am a human being, and a somewhat physically frail one at that. I have fibromyalgia, and if I don't take the time to manage it's symptoms through proper diet, adequate sleep, exercise and relaxation techniques, it will flare up to the point where I will be literally bed ridden for days at a time. Coming to terms with this over the past few years has been difficult lesson in humility. However, it's also helped me grow as person and realize that there's no shame in acknowledging my limitations and asking for help.
I am by nature independent and work best alone. It's not that I don't enjoy the company of other people, I just enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that I get from working on something that's 'just mine.' I'm the artist's equivalent of a controlling spouse who needs to know that I'm "the one" when it comes to my relationship with my art.
A relationship is what really boils down to when I look at the role creating art plays in my life. It's my companion, a source of entertainment, it gives me a sense of purpose and pride. It provides a psychological, emotional and physical release that is sometimes extremely sexually driven. It's a relationship that is constantly evolving and eventually will serve as my legacy. You could say that creating art is in many ways like having a spouse and children.
The problem is that for me I have sacrificed other critical areas of my life for this relationship. It's the same principle as when someone neglects themselves to care for a spouse or their children and doesn't take any "me" time for themselves. It's an unhealthy relationship situation and I'm starting to realize it.
After going on a solo vacation this past November and letting go of a lot of attachments I've resolved to take better care of myself and lead a more balanced lifestyle when it comes to my relationship with my art. I'm still going to work hard and continue to nurture my craft, but you could say that me and my art have decided to have an open relationship. I'll be allowing more people into my creative process and hopefully collaborating more with other artists on other projects. Most importantly though, I'm going to continue to put my physical and mental well being first.