In my last post, i talked about going thru a stage of figuring out what i actually wanna do with art, why it’s such a big deal to have that option to begin with. Here, i wanted to go a little more into how it’s been showing up specifically, and i hope you find something in it for you too : )
I mentioned this showing up not just in my sketchbook practice, but also in my body and my living space. There’s actually another area this is showing up that is also very important to me – community.
My disclaimer is that i still haven’t fully figured out what i actually wanna do with art LOL. But this is the process of getting there, like opening the door and walking thru. I also foresee there being multiple answers through the course of my life *cue visions*
All that being said, here they are:
Listening to my body, from random pains or heavy-breathing from doing very little exercise, to feeling like ‘i definitely did not walk enough today’. This has become especially important in my 30s LOL, and tbh it’s taken lots of practice to actually listen. I’ve avoided ‘working out’ in gyms for many reasons but now especially because folks pretend covid isn’t a thing anymore at worst, or that it’s not nearly as serious at best T-T. Chicago Movement Collective offering classes online, and awesome youtube fitness creators has been a rlly helpful alternative so far
Tidy living space: my living space is where i make art. And it’s also a p small space, so any amount of messiness feels like chaos. As a latinx + neurodivergent person, cleaning has been felt both burdensome and really difficult to do consistently. I’ve been working on shifting my perception to see it as a thing that will make me feel comfier to live in my own space, as well as maybe make games out of them (like a song per chore max), and it’s a work in progress but has definitely helped.
Community/collective liberatory work: this one is super important to me, and moving to a new city right before covid + covid itself really got in the way of me finding (and feeling comfortable enough to find) my footing. But regardless, i go back to it and keep trying again even though orienting myself is not always easy and am still in early stages of building community. Right now, this is showing up as participating in mutual aid stuff, and plan to do more volunteering + skill sharing, but my long-term goals are to find a political home where i’m consistently helping build towards something sustainable/making things a little better.
The actually visual art part – i’ve been playing around with color, and everyday stuff as my inspo in my sketchbook, that adapts to my brain and routine needs. I’m using oil pastel and tombow markers, which are both pretty easy to just pick up and do the thing without a lot of set up, to help when my executive dysfunction is worse. It’s been helpful to do it not having an end point in mind other than doing the thing everyday and not associating big meaning to it, but rather see it as just part of my routine. Sometimes it’s what it is heh, and sometimes it’s generative: it shows me next areas to explore some more 🙂
So there you have it. It’s def not a glamorous process and kind of inconsistent and blah sometimes 😅 but i’m in it for the long haul. If you would like to explore what areas are important to you and/or impact your ability to show up for your art practice, my main suggestion once you figure it out, is to be compassionate with yourself, regardless of life stuff keeping you from doing it every day (or every x days), what’s important is that you keep trying, keep coming back to it, keep showing up.
Amor as Lucha