So I’ve noticed recently that I’ve been getting these strange pangs of jealousy when I see other artists and writers and creators in general. And not in t he way that some of you may be thinking. I’m not jealous of the art they create. I know I can create some amazing art myself, even if it’s not the way that others do. I know my writing isn’t all bad, so it’s not that I’ve become jealous of the quality of other writers’ work.
You see, I’m not an overly jealous person. Not in any way. That’s not to say I’ve never felt what it is to be jealous, but I keep it under control so well that it never really rears its ugly head. What I’ve noticed is that I envy those who only have one real passion. It sounds stupid, right?
Let me explain. I had a table at a local market this past weekend, and I took a walk around at one point to look at what other people had made to sell. I noticed that every other table there had a very specific style and medium. There were painters, crafters, and people making amazing food. But the thing they all seemed to have in common is that they only did one thing. And I realized while looking around that I was envious of them.
I’ve never known what it was like to focus all of my time and energy into one medium. I’m a writer, but I’m also a photographer, and an artist, and a fashion designer, as well as constantly feeling the urge to try new things. And even my art spans more than one medium and genre. I paint landscapes and flowers and skyscapes and stars, but I also draw a lot of darker fantasy type pieces with pencil crayons that look absolutely nothing like those paintings. The same can be said about my fashion. I love designing and making really avant garde outfits, but I enjoy making simple and elegant pieces as well as fetish pieces just as much.
It got me to thinking about how much more uniform my displays would be for markets and conventions if I was to choose only one aspect of my work to showcase, but after days of considering the options, there is no way I could choose one over the other. The paintings I do are mostly practice and because I can do them so fast that I can create several in a couple of hours so that it feels like I am accomplishing something, but the drawings, the pieces that make people think, the ones that showcase the characters from my writing – those pieces are my real art. They are also the pieces that don’t really sell here in my hometown, as they are so far out from the conservative and folk art types that they scare people. I’m not saying the paintings aren’t real art, as I have actually fallen quite madly in love with some of them, and they will be hard to see go when they sell. But that’s my point. I want to do markets so I can get my work out there and sell some pieces, but even between my art, I would have to bring both genres, and they are nothing alike.
I have so many styles that I love working with, and so many mediums I enjoy, that I can never be one of those people who just shows up at a market with their goods and can say with certainty that they are a painter or a photographer or a baker. I envy the people who know what they are down to a single word that is so specific that anyone who hears it will understand.
My single word is creator. But I can’t very well advertise that I am a creator when I do events like these, so I have to put more than one category down. And when someone claims to be more than one type of creator, most people are driven to brush them off as not having found their field of expertise yet – but that’s not the case with me! Writing and art are my passion. They have been for as long as I can remember. Fashion and photography came later, but they are also things I can never walk away from, nor will I ever stop offering them to clients, even if it is just on rare occasions.
Am I the only one out there who is so passionate about what I do that there is no picking or choosing between those “hobbies”? I feel like there must be other people out there like me, people who are so equally in love with certain things they create, certain mediums and genres, that they could never choose which is more important. I feel like the odd one out in a world where people pick one thing and stick to it, and I feel like people judge me for it. It’s like people think I am not committed to my writing because I am so in love with my art, or the other way around, and that’s just not the case. I love both equally, and I need them both to help keep myself sane.
I know that not all of the things I love are perfect for me to do for work for the rest of my life. I had the opportunity of a lifetime three years ago to take my fashion design to the next level, and I could probably have untold riches by now had I followed through, but my soul wasn’t in it the way that it’s in my art and writing and photography. Making the same garments over and over in different sizes and colours is not creative, and it was taking a toll. Now I look at fashion design the way I did before all of that. It’s a way to express myself and create something out of nothing without the restrictions that come with doing it for money.
My photography, on the other hand, has been the best way I’ve found to stay creative with my work, but still make my clients happy. And it means I haven’t gotten sick of photography and had to shut down shop and walk away because I felt like I was selling my soul. You win some, you lose some. Unfortunately fashion wasn’t the right path for me, no matter how much I do still love it, and I made that choice when I realized the toll it was taking. Unlike the fashion, my photography has been booming and it never stops being fun.
Who knows, maybe I can’t write or paint for money and do it happily, but I will never know until I try. As it stands, I love what I do, and I never stopped loving fashion, I just never fell in love with the repetitive motions of making the same garment countless times. I fell in love with the creative process behind making a new design. Art and writing lets me do something different every time, and expects exactly that.
So yes, I do envy other creators. Very much so. But not for the reasons that most would. I envy their discipline and their knowing, their sureness. I envy that I have too many things I love equally to ever be just a writer or just an artist or just a photographer. I envy that simply labeling oneself as a creator is never enough for most people, as they don’t like that you seem so unsure of your profession, when really it’s that your profession includes so many different aspects that using a more specific term takes away from the work that goes into the other aspects.