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Ruminations and Fingers

Wed Nov 19, 2014, 9:51 AM
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~ x ~

Hello everyone. 

5am has just gone by and I've realised that if I visit DeviantArt and pause for a little moment, and sit in the eye of the clutter and strange noises and gratuitous nudity to actually digest what I'm doing, what I've done here, what here has done for me, recall the names and avatars that have come and gone, smile at the familiar faces and the new ones...I get very sentimental. In a way, it's like peering into a series of time capsules, documenting my life and artistic state. In a way it makes me sad. I genuinely yearn for the time when I could maintain real interactions here, and was so excited to upload something new almost every week. I was excited to be discovering that I wanted to be an artist for life. I didn't appreciate the luxury of all that time and uninterrupted opportunities to act on inspiration. 

As I've gotten older I think I've grown increasingly introverted. The internet and online connections truly overwhelm me. They almost scare me. I'm plugged in to so many social portals, all of which are directly or indirectly a means to promote myself and my work, and are a blurring of my identities as a person and as an artist. I make a distinction because if I didn't I think I'd be consumed. I don't really know by what, it's just some vague and unformed bit of knowledge contained within me that I could end up in an asylum.

Ideas for artwork I would once commit to reality now endlessly circle the inside of my head, and half the time that's almost enough for me. Having the idea, visualising the finished piece. It's a very weird place to be as an artist. Perhaps the lack of free time for my own work has forced me to be so selective with what I pursue that I've just arrived at a point where I filter everything.

I don't really have a point or an argument here, I'm just some guy with ruminations and fingers, and a rare urge to share something of myself in this moment. I'll probably wake up feeling completely different, haha.

 Part of me knows that in order to "make it" as an artist, I will one day have to quit my day job as a designer and throw myself into artmaking full time with no ropes and no returns. It's all just treading water til then. 

But on the bright side I've just returned from an awesome 4 week trip around Japan with my girlfriend. It was genuinely inspiring creatively, a bit of a wake up call to be less precious in the creation of my work and the following through of ideas. Style, originality, weirdness, wonder, skill, fantasy, flow and beauty. I like those things, others like those things, just do it.

~Simanion/Simon, but which one I don't know

  • Listening to: Kimbra, Dappled Cities, The Stones
  • Reading: Plato's Symposium
  • Watching: Clouds
  • Eating: My own skin
  • Drinking: Sunshine
Add a Comment:
 
:iconcrazygirl-lp:
crazygirl-lP Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Hi!
I think I can empathize with some the things you wrote about the intertnet. I wish you so much luck working full time as an artist, I really like your work, been watching it for like five years maybe ^^ and it's always so impressive, you're always innovating without loosing your style! Keep going, I really think you got what it takes *O*. Aaaand I hope you're feeling better by now.

Greetings from Chile
Reply
:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Hey! That's really kind of you to say those things, thanks very much - it doesn't go unappreciated :) The internet is a weird place and it's actually getting weirder. 
Reply
:iconsecretplanet:
secretplanet Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
but you HAVE "made it" as an artist! 
I've come to the conclusion that art is so much a part of life that integrating it into your job (like being a designer-artist-internet-person) is what "making it" is these days. Having a paid job gives you the freedom to create what pleases you the rest of the time & that's very liberating!

i've kind of let the gallery go a little bit, validating as it is, because there's some pressure from the owner to paint things that tourists want to buy, & working as a nurse part time means i'm not reliant on the income from art. Now i've started working in an awesome renal education unit with another nurse-artist-internet-person, & we have art everywhere at work! Some patients are bringing work in too, & it occurred to me the other week: maybe this is what it means to have "made it" in the art world? we won a prize for our xmas decorations..

I hear you with the thing about not getting everything done all the time & diminishing 'net interaction! You're just busier now: another sign that you've "made it"! (At least that's what i tell myself!) and the internet is wonderful, but it isn't the real world, not really!

Love the comments on here too: thanks everyone, & merry xmas if you're into that sort of thing!
Reply
:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah I see, that's a bit of an annoying situation for you with the gallery. In a way, it's a similar problem I have to being a designer (it's always about pleasing the client and balancing that with what you actually want to create). I think you definitely have a point about "making it" in the art world being a subjective thing, and I don't really want to be stuck inside the gallery circles, I want to be out in the lives of ordinary people. Thanks so much for writing and sharing your story!
Reply
:iconfairyfoogoo:
Fairyfoogoo Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well written my friend. I often feel things quite similar to this myself haha. I do hope you continue to have those beautiful moments you cherish.
Reply
:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you, and thanks for writing :) Me too!
Reply
:iconmeltin:
Meltin Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've done,and thought that very same thing,Simon. Look back at the work,and comments,of people who have
deactivated their accounts,long ago. Remember Konahins? I had forgotten about those intricate "lacy" looking
ink masterpieces. Just one example. I'm not here much,these days. I draw but,never seem to finish. I've always
had the issue you referred to,in your Journal. I imagine everything finished in my mind but,getting there in 
reality,is another story. My day job has nothing to do with art. I'm a machinist. I'm 54 yrs old. I've always loved
art,and artists,who think outside the box. That's why I draw,and also why I like your work so much. Just wanted to
let you know,you're not alone in your thinking. Like I said, I'm not here often as I once was. When I do come here,
I love/hate to reminisce. Hope you're doing well.
  Robert:) 
Reply
:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks Robert for sharing that with me, it really helped. Very easy to feel alone here sometimes! I think about all the artists that have come and gone, and wonder what happened with the ones who are gone. It's so strange to have all these small moments and interactions frozen in time. 
Reply
:iconmeltin:
Meltin Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes,I'm still here.:) It just takes me awhile,sometimes. 
Glad what I said, helped. I think many of the old timers
here,feel the same way we do. I see have a few fav's from
someone I hadn't heard from in ages. Also an Aussie, as a
matter of fact! Dark Rayne Rules. She was one of my first
friends here,back in 2009. It'll be nice to talk with her again. 
I hope things are well with you. I'm off to reminisce,a bit.;p
Reply
:iconthepurplemonster:
thepurplemonster Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"5am has just gone by and I've realised that if I visit DeviantArt and pause for a little moment, and sit in the eye of the clutter and strange noises and gratuitous nudity to actually digest what I'm doing, what I've done here, what here has done for me, recall the names and avatars that have come and gone, smile at the familiar faces and the new ones...I get very sentimental. In a way, it's like peering into a series of time capsules, documenting my life and artistic state."

I so wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. There's something magical about it -- every interaction, every thought we committed to a comment or journal, remains intact so many years later. It's like literally getting to see your past self, from the outside. And especially when that past self was in such a vulnerable, beginning state -- most of us starting here in adolescence, when we were just getting our feet wet in art. I never "became an artist for life", but at the time the budding of that sentiment was there. There's an innocence to that kind of excitement and hopefulness.  

"The internet and online connections truly overwhelm me. They almost scare me. I'm plugged in to so many social portals, all of which are directly or indirectly a means to promote myself and my work, and are a blurring of my identities as a person and as an artist. I make a distinction because if I didn't I think I'd be consumed."

This part struck me deeply, as well. I feel like the internet has become a colder, more corporate place over the years.. it's no longer as much about discovery and freedom. I'm not sure if it's because there are so many more people on it (surely it was quite a large population even 7 years ago), or because it's place in society has changed. Back in the day to spend all your time online was hugely dorky, but now it can be your full time job and no one would bat an eye. Screennames are increasingly becoming real names, because it now counts as real credit. It's a money making, self promoting, professional place now -- especially for creatives, when there has been such a history of people 'making it' through mediums like youtube and dA. It was wonderful in that it gave a lot of people a second chance, but also unfortunate in how it changed the internet itself. It's hard to spill your soul in a place that potential employers might be looking, you know? Or even to think about people as your 'audience', and their reactions as a sign of your success, rather than as friends and fellow art lovers. 

I think spending a period of time in creative silence -- perhaps even away from places like dA and instagram and tumblr, if they are making you feel so pressured -- can be a wonderful thing, and more productive than we as a culture give credit for. It's ok to stop pushing for a while; it doesn't mean that you'll lose your ability to do so. In a way, our art comes from our fundamental selves, and if we want that stream to keep coming, we need to give ourselves the necessary rest and quiet, the same way we would treat any other precious living thing. I think it's lovely that you went to Japan for that reason :) And of course good to spend time with loved ones!

Sorry for my ginormously long rambles, haha. I just wanted to give you a proper response for what I found to be a deeply sympathetic journal. :heart:
Reply
:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much. What a truly heartfelt response, I really do appreciate that you took the time to talk. Don't apologise! To know that it struck a chord with you makes me realise how lonely I felt when I wrote it, as I feel a little less so now :)  I know you've thought about this as well, and I think have come to similar conclusions - the online world has changed. But have we changed more? Or has it changed us? I don't know. It's easy to be cynical about it, but maybe for younger people it's exactly as we experienced it at their age.

Time away from work and general responsibilities (and in effect reality) was really great. It unexpectedly resulted in a near obsession with all the things big and small around me that had been painstakingly crafted and inserted into people's lives (what better place to do so than Japan?), which in turn gave me new focus and impetus to get on with contributing my own. So many things are just quietly beautiful. They require no explanation or justification or intellectualisation. 

But yeah, thanks again :aww: You only confirm that as odd and useless as DA can be, it's actually quite important to me and has been an undeniably huge part of shaping me as a person and artist.
Reply
:iconthepurplemonster:
thepurplemonster Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No problem! I figure when you have a problem with something, it's always good to try to act in ways to solve it -- if one feels concerned with the lack of sincerity/depth in a community, then to offer it is a first step. I'm glad you feel less lonely now, though :) 

I think it's a combination of both, and it's a bit impossible to separate the two. You're absolutely right that part of it is probably just us getting older, that age-old mentality of "when I was your age" settling in.. scary thought, haha. But I don't think it can be *exactly* the same for younger people now as it was for us, because they have role models and examples that we never had. 10 years ago there was no Justin Beiber; now youtube is flooded with idol singer wannabes, even pre-teen ones, who are outfitted with expensive professional recording technology in their basement, because that formula has proven successful in the past. I guess that's what makes it feel different for me now -- because time has past, because it's no longer at the beginning, inevitably the things that come now carry the shadow and influence of things that came before. As to the questions of "But have we changed more? Or has it changed us?"... I have no idea either. 

That's fantastic! Reconnecting with the real/physical/sensory world is so important. I'm so happy for you in re-finding your focus and drive :hug:
Reply
:iconsmokeg:
SmokeG Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your work is amazing, creative, beautiful.  I'm envious.

We all struggle in being creatives.  It's our lot.  But we have a gift that many others don't.  We're fortunate.  And we go thru phases and evolutions in our work.  Because we're always growing.

My favorite quote, can't remember who said it, but it was:
"When you find yourself going thru hell, keep going"

Keep going and keep growing.

-g
Reply
:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks man :) It can be a pretty lonely existence sometimes. Even if you're constantly surrounded by people. Your words are very comforting, and you're right.
Reply
:iconsmokeg:
SmokeG Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey man, just thought I'd check in.  How are you doing?  I see you're still creating crazy wonderful works.  Fantastic stuff.  I really admire your work!
Reply
:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Hey man, I appreciate that - I really do :thanks: Things are cool, and I've been slowly getting back into producing more although usually on a much smaller and more casual scale, at the same time as painting a huge complicated mural haha. Sounds good but it's a commissioned work that I feel is only 50% me, but at least it's something. Same issues are lingering, but all you can really do is keep on going. Thanks for your support Gordon. How about you? Tell me about your life!
Reply
:iconsmokeg:
SmokeG Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm good, thank you.  I've sort of come to a recent realization that it's up to me to make my life better.  It won't happen by circumstance or by any effort on the part of my employer (I'm not self employed).  So I'm trying to fit in time to do more of what I like, art being one of those.

You might have noticed that I don't have any works up for display, which makes me feel a little like a lurker.  I have many in various stages of progress but none finished.  A lot my work are studies.  My technique needs practice and I'm still sort of finding my muse.  I'm hyper-self critical and find myself tossing stuff and doing them over.  But I am improving slowly.  I used to do only pencil work but I wanted to put color to it so tried markers for awhile.  Now I'm using watercolor and kind of a combination of glazing and dry brush.  I have a good eye for color but am shit for color matching :)
Reply
:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Nice to hear, that's a good realisation to come to. It's empowering, but can also be stifling. I kind of float between those two. I think being hyper critical of yourself is actually a blessing in the long run, you've got to be proud of what you do. Keep pursuing it until you're happy!
Reply
:iconthepurplemonster:
thepurplemonster Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This was beautiful, and I relate to much of it without necessarily living through the same experiences.. It's getting late here (for me anyway!) so I will respond more fully in the morning, but just know that someone read your thoughts, and found them moving.. :heart:
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