Starting my online art school #3

I did something big a few months ago; I released the first workshop that I made exclusively for my own website. I can hear you think “Que? What have you been about then lately?!”. I’ve actually been wondering the same thing, and feeling increasingly stuck in creating more course material. So here’s a blog full of ramblings on that. 😉

I joined quite a bit of collaborative courses. Most of them feature a great number of amazing artists, who each deliver some content that is being offered to those who join. 

When I started this website, I had a few of those lessons I had made previously, that I could turn into single workshops. It seemed like a good, low-key way to get started. If you’ve read my previous blogs in this series, you’ll know that I struggle quite a bit with anxiety and depression. 

So low-key was the way to go.

There’s something about this take-it-easy-on-yourself-attitude that I want to share with you. It’s personal, so it applies to me and in no way am I saying that it’s a general idea. 

For a long time, I though that taking it easy on yourself equals being kind to yourself. I thought that if I let myself off the hook, I was taking care of myself. It’s one of those statements that is true is some cases, but not in all cases. The pandemic made that even more obvious to me. The already small number of occasions where I had to force myself to go out and interact with people were reduced to about zero. I thought I would gain energy, less people the better right? But instead, my social anxiety increased. The lack of exposure, practice, whatever you want to call it, made me even more sensitive. It turned out there is a line between taking care of myself, and making things worse.

While my social anxiety likes to hide inside the house, it’s my lack of self-confidence that likes to hide behind other people. Letting go of the security of working with successful artists and entrepreneurs, and creating something that wasn’t approved of by others, turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated.

Every artist I’ve ever spoken to about this, understands this issue to some extend. Art is personal, yes. But also elusive. When is art good enough? Unique enough? How do you measure its success? How do we teach something that hasn’t been done a million times? What do I even want to convey in the first place?

Many of these questions overwhelm me to a point where they serve no purpose, really. I would create one course layout, and replace it with another, and then another, because nothing seemed ‘perfect’. I would have lists of things that needed to be in certain lessons, that made me not want to create the artwork anymore. I planned so much, it took the life out of my art.

Wait, life? Yes, life stupid! 

You know, the whole reason behind spending time on creating art while you could be doing a million other things. The reason why I put my pencil on this way, and you put yours that way, and we end up with unique representations of what we see. Why we struggle with art, love art, buy art, cherish art, cry about art and come back to it every time.

That’s life, an artist’s life and that’s what I realised I wanted to share. Not really because I have anything special to say, but because I’ve noticed that when I share, you all start talking back and share your views. And we have these amazing conversations about things that make me feel like I’m not alone and not crazy.

I don’t really want to tell you how to do this or that, because my guess is there are way too many people telling you what to do in a day already. You do your thing, and I’ll do my thing and if you want to copy what I’m doing, that’s fine. But if you’d rather go ahead and follow your own gut with me rambling in my videos in the background, also great. And then we can share photo’s and talk for ages about art, because that’s what we do.

That – after 2 years of headaches and panic attacks – is now officially my business plan. 😀 

I really wish I could send you all chocolate for sticking with me during this. There have been people (not you of course!) who on occasion suggested I should “stop thinking about everything so much”. No shit. I wish I could, but I can’t and I’ve tried. So these endless writings are a way for me to bend my mind into something that makes sense in the end. 

And in the mean time I’m working and making art and recording lessons, which means that I’m doing something towards my goals. So I’m going to be sharing some more blogs and images on that process soon because everything is better when you share it with friends. Thank you for being here. <3

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