-"Space and Pond" (top), "Iceberg" (bottom), collages, 5" x 5".
I have been struggling a lot with the "why" questions, one of them being "why am I making art". I work in a retirement home -- specifically working with residents suffering from dementia. We feed, clothe, bathe, and help these people to live. Oftentimes I go into work expecting to take care of these residents only to realize that they are the ones taking care of me. They show me an incredible amount of love, friendship, and wisdom, to the point where it is overwhelming sometimes.
When I come home then, it seems strangely self-centered to be sitting by myself in a studio. Is it though? How is art worth the amount of time and energy it takes? These thoughts tumble around for a while, and I always come to the conclusion that it is not worth it. I could not possibly affect as many people as I was hoping to. Art just isn't that powerful. Maybe I would be better off working full time at a retirement home where I am certain that I am connecting and helping?
But then I think about one or two of my favorite artists, like Janine Antoni. I met her last year, and she really changed a lot for me. I was just as in love with her character as I was with her art, because empathy and strength seemed to flow from her like a quiet pulse.
-"Saddle", tanned cow hide by Janine Antoni.
I have faith in her, because I know she can change things. She is changing things. There is actually a lot of power in art, so maybe the doubt lies in myself?
Maybe I'm not giving myself enough time. My work is not there yet, because I am not there yet. I'm only twenty-two, just graduated from an undergrad program. Of course my work is not there yet; I'm just starting to figure things out.
Oh boy, it's just hard (and posting Janine Antoni's work next to my dinky collages was probably not the best for self-confidence, haha). But I'm sure anyone who does creative work could relate. I just really hope to be able to change the world someday.