Recently I learned that it is very important to tell not-so-happy parts of your story as well as happy ones as it adds honestly, sincerity, and even vulnerability. It helps others to see you as a person, whole package, with feelings and everything as oppose to just a maker of a painting.
So here is the part of my story that I have been holding back for more than 5 years now.
As you know the beginning of my art journey was very happy in encouraging, I discovered the whole new side of life – being passionate about what you do (If you missed this part of the story, read it here). I had an amazing teacher and was seriously considering a career in art even though I could barely hold a brush. Shortly after this I met the love of my life, got married and moved to Canada.
Trying to figure out my new life, fit into this country, change my habits, language and mentality altogether was not an easy thing to do (and yes, you do have to do it partially if you want to fit in). I know it sounds big, but that’s because it is. Sometimes I couldn’t make a conversation or be a part of one because I simply did not know the context be that politics, old movies or even restaurants – famous in Toronto, but unknown to me. This is a very simple and seemingly small thing, but it makes you feel like you don’t belong.
Another part was to keep making art, find new teacher, peers. It looked promising because our friend had an artist friend whom he happily introduced me to. Yay! She had a long career in art and is quite successful and even though she genuinely tried to help, she severely damaged my self-esteem and discouraged me from making art. Sometimes we do that to people, just being insensitive or inattentive to other person and simply not noticing the effect of our words. I’m not angry or upset (anymore) as it was unconsciously done with good intentions. That encounter set me back a couple of years, because I stopped making art the way I was taught, I didn’t learn a new way yet and I was constantly indulging in criticism and self-doubt.
I was attending art-schools, taking classes, but there was always her voice in my head saying: “Professional artists don’t do that” and it was like a red light. I worked on school projects, but I wasn’t creating my own work, because I wasn’t considering myself “a professional artist”. I think I spent the whole year without painting a single oil painting… can’t think of it without goose bumps. Until one great artist fixed that damage! Wait for the next post (like a few days, really soon, I promise).
Here are some paintings from that time. I think they look pretty sad and lifeless.