Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Tormented Artist Soul

I’ve heard from my therapist that I have an artist soul. First I have to say I don’t believe it in a religious way, but I think she meant the state of my mind and the circumstances and decisions that lead my actions in certain directions.

I have an impressionist way to look around me, but I have a realistic way to analyze and criticize it. Basically I have two opposite art movements in constant battle inside me. I can’t decide which one I like more and I can’t blend them both in one.

Lately, I’ve caught myself thinking how much I’d like to break free from this miserable world around me and go somewhere where I can appreciate true beauty, completely ignoring the ugliness of Brazil’s violence and poverty like a good hypocrite and be happy to simply forget. And then my realistic side blames me for wanting to be a hypocrite, but acknowledges that since I can’t save the world, I can save myself from constant deceptions and that’s what the hypocrisy is all about.

I’ve often wondered how nice it would be to paint a flowery field in Toscana while living in a comfortable house and not having to worry about money, for art would be my only profit. It’s not something absurd to come true if I look close because I can paint, I can draw, I have a BA degree and I speak Italian well enough to live there without communication getting in my way.

The only thing on my way is my own ambition and how much it actually costs to go live in another country. I’ve decided to work hard and get enough money to get a MFA degree in Europe and in my account that would be about one or two years of hard work.

But in Brazil an artist can’t find work. Not one that pays correctly every month. So I had to abandon the art and start teaching Italian and English in a private language school. The artistic inspiration behind it is zero and with this job occupying most of my time I don’t have much time to draw, paint and write stories.

That’s where the torment starts. I urge to create all the time. Maybe not all the time, but I think of stories and situations that could become nice comic books, nice paintings and nice tales almost constantly and since I can’t sit down and actually make it appear in the real world (that is, outside my head), I become frustrated and eventually depressed; down the famous creative block.

That’s the moment I’m in right now. In two hours I have to leave and teach; I know that two hours is a lot of time to create something, but I can’t find discipline to dedicate just two hours in a passion-driven work. I need much more then that, I think. And so, I don’t start anything. I just stare at the clock, waiting for it to hurry so I can come home, sleep and hope the next day will be nicer.

When the inspiration hits me in a full blow, usually after midnight, I’m too tired to get out of the bed and sit by my drawing table. I used to do it always a few months ago, but now… I don’t know. I want to, but I’m feeling emotionally tired and frustrated.

My frustration makes me become lazy, I spend my free time reading other people’s novels and when I go out to have fun I realize I’m tired of the same faces, the same subjects and the same personality. I’m tired of that person who think everything he does is easier then what you do because he’s not as lazy as you are, I’m tired of that friend who invites me to dinner and says there’s no restaurant in town that cooks better than his grandmother (who once in history had a restaurant in South Africa for about two months) and that the dessert passed the cooking point when I think it tastes perfect the way it is.

I think I need to be surprised at all the times. When I already know what someone will complain about I get tired of this person and that’s how six or seven years of friendship goes down the drain. Once again I find myself lonely, waiting for some inspiration to come so I can write.

Nowadays when inspiration comes all I can do is to write a small post for an internet journal – blog – thinking someone around the world would care to read my thoughts and find a bit of entertainment in my tormented artistic soul.


Louco said...

That's because you probably need som emore attention than the one given to you by your restricted number of students. But whatever, I shouldn't be analysing you.

Just know two things, kid: first, you're not the only one who feels so. I believe all teachers undergo this experience once in a while.

Second... if you care to, I could give you some suggestions of what to do in class. You know, I've been working with that for some time and I could have one or two ideas that, maybe, you'd like to use.

Oh, and a last piece of advice: imagine yourself as a student. What would you like to see/have/do in a class?

Bear in mind that you'll never make everybody happy. Sometimes you'll get there with an idea that you'll be sure to be a boom, and your students will stare at you with blank expressions, and by the end of the day you'll feel like the sole survivor of a terrible battle.

But... there are days when that silly, cover idea will make them produce and learn much more than your wildest dreams would reach. Yep, pros and cons of all ^^

Sorry for being so long with the topic, and sorry for taking so long to say something here. you know, I haven't been in a good mood for posting recently, because... well, you know why.

See ya sis!

Vivi said...

What? My dear Louco, you completely missed the point I was trying to make in the text. I wasn't complaining about teaching, I was complaining about the lack of time to draw, to paint and to write. Teaching is the least of my problems. So, don't worry I can handle a classroom with a bunch of annoying brats, what I can't handle is to have a thousand ideas going around my brain when I can't work on them.