Working again. Maybe.

I have a confession to make. I struggle.

Being an Artist. I hate it. I have always found it hard to even start working. To make the first mark – any mark. I don’t know why this is. Well, I do know why actually. A mixture of anxiety issues, mental health stuff, and too many other commitments going on. I have a show in Brixton later this year. In July. It’s the Urban Art Fair that I did last year. July is not so far away now, and yet I haven’t done any work for it. Every fibre of my being is screaming inside my head “DO SOME DRAWING! START SOMETHING! ANYTHING!” and yet every day that passes is filled with a mixture of the genuine demands, procrastination and avoidance. And still no art appears.

I’m not one of these artists that thrives on being a “disturbed genius”. In fact it’s one of those myths that I despise. The reality is that having mental health issues prevent you from working and creating. They don’t feed creativity, any more than any other life’s work. Being anxious wouldn’t help you be better accountant, and it certainly doesn’t help me make art.

I wish I was like a Hugh MacLeod or a Hazel Dooney. Hugh’s prodigious output is a part and parcel of his expertise and it shows. He’s put the hours in. Hazel has battled far worse mental health issues than I ever will, and still keeps getting up and fighting on, like the true prize fighter she is.

If I had a shred of their determination, discipline and drive, I would be much more successful than than I am. I take great confort from stories of Douglas Adams’ working method. As a writer he was the most painful of procrastinators. He was renowned for agonising up to the last minute. He would not put one mark on a piece of paper until two weeks before the deadline from his publisher, then he locked himself away for two weeks and dashed out some of his most well known and famous works, and even then he had to be cajoled and coerced into it. Stories like this give me hope.

I’m being honest about this in the hope that the humiliation of such a public declaration will drag me out of this torpor and start me working again.

The football in the photo above was left outside our flat, by the kids that play on our estate. I’ve already done work about the various issues surrounding the place where I live, which you can read about in various parts of my blog.

They often leave things behind to collect hours, even days later. They see the area as “theirs”. I commandeered the football early one morning – long before they were up to notice – at 6 in the morning. I’m going to draw it, paint it and photograph it. You can’t invent a football like that. It has so many stories and possible meanings, especially with the upcoming football World Cup in South Africa this summer.

When I’m done, the kids can have the football back.

We’ll see whether this will get me working again.

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2 Responses to Working again. Maybe.

  1. me says:

    love how tender the wound looks, revealing the ‘bounce’ the push of the two materials together to make this thing work. the wound isn’t directly abuse either. anyway I’ll shutup incase I break something. would like to see a drawing though, I’d send something new in return.

  2. Michael Radcliffe says:

    I think the wound also looks quite comedic – almost like a cartoon football from Popeye or somesuch.

    I still haven’t done any drawing on it yet though.

    *hangs head in shame*

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