“Find what you love and let it kill you” – Bukowski

When you read that bukowski quote, do you think of love? Personally, I think of Art. When I first saw this quote (age 14) my dream was to become a tattoo artist. Every moment of the day my mind was consumed with art and I was constantly planning the next tattoo design. At School I always went to the art classroom at lunchtime to do more of my work, and as soon as I got home I would get my sketchbook out and continue. In maths class I would be doodling in my book instead of doing maths work (that’s probably why I failed maths oops). Art consumed me, and I loved it.

When I was in my last year at high school I completed my 10 hour art exam and me and my teacher was confident that I would get a grade B. On results day, all I cared about was what grade I got for art, I ripped open the letter and skimmed all the way down until I got to Art… and much to my disappointment I got a C. You may think that isn’t that bad, true, but it also wasn’t what I wanted or needed. To me, I completely failed. And I found myself getting jealous of the other students who got a higher grade and put in half the effort that I did. I knew that was wrong of me, and I shouldnt have been thinking like that. But I think jealousy is a natural human feeling that sometimes can’t be helped. It felt like I worked so hard and put all my energy and efforts into it for nothing and my dreams moved further away.

Despite that, I still went on to do Art & Design at college. I did enjoy it, I enjoyed learning about different styles and artists, but when it came to drawing my own thing I never felt inspired. I actually felt that I wasn’t capable of drawing. I would sit in my chair looking at a blank piece of paper for most lessons, wracking my brain for ideas to draw.

But I realised I was focusing too much on the end result, because art class is like that. They don’t care about the initial sketch or how you built it up, they want the end result, and it must be perfect and fit every label that they put it under (also I’m aware all classes aren’t like this). I cared too much about being right. When I eventually did do anything, it was always wrong, I didn’t follow a certain technique or the colours wasn’t realistic. But to me art isn’t an exam, nor is it rigid rules, I liked the freedom of art and that’s what attracted me to it in the first place.

Since then, I have maybe created 2 or 3 pieces of art that I liked, but then one day completely stopped. People tell me to just do it, just draw, you are so good. It’s not as simple as that, I have tried so hard, at one point I tried every single day, and it leaves me feeling useless and angry. So no, I won’t try anymore because you like the outcome of my art. It was for me. And now I don’t want to do it, the pressure simply made me hate drawing. I still admire others artwork and regularly look at it on Pinterest but I don’t think I will ever make my own. I still see things now and interpret in my head how I would draw or paint it, even though I don’t do it. I have an artistic brain, but I can’t seem to put that on paper.

I did find a love and let it kill me. But it killed my spirit. My passion for art is dead. Well my passion for creating art is dead.

This may have all sounded depressing, but really it’s not, there is something out there for everyone and creating art obviously wasn’t for me. There is so many things I enjoy and so many ways to express myself. What I would like you to take from this (if anything) is not to give up but when the passion is gone, don’t continue to do it for other people.

Let me know in the comments what your passion is? Or if you don’t know yet, what do you enjoy doing?

Thank you so much for reading this and sticking with me on my artsy rant!

With Love,

Maz

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