I think the idea of an interview is a strange one. Why would someone want to get to know me? But that is my core beliefs screaming at me, that I feel like I am not good enough. I am slowly figuring out at 38 years old that I am good enough, and I should be doing the things that I love. I know I have to be patient, and not quit at what I am doing. I am definitely an over-thinker, perfectionist, self-doubter of most things, so I have a lot to sort through before a painting is actually finished. The idea of doing a live interview about me is incredibly terrifying, as I really think I am going to spit out verbal diarrhea.
One of the coping skills I am trying to be better at is opposite action. Doing the opposite of what you really want to do, but know you need to do it in the end. I know I need to start doing these interviews, if anything just to get myself more comfortable with it. And I know the only way to do that is practice, so it just becomes second nature, like my paintings are becoming. I am realizing that any audience, really wants to know the story behind the artwork, to understand where it truly came from. And the only way to do that is to get to know the artist themselves, and where they came from.
It all started on a walk in the Dunlap Sanctuary woods, in Dracut, MA. A woman was walking her puppy in front of me, and he was definitely having a hard time getting used to all the sounds and scents all around him. I started asking about her puppy, and she said he gets spooked pretty easily still. But he came right up to me and we became friends. We made small talk all the way back to the cars, and she told me that she is President of the Dracut Arts, and a lightbulb went off in my head.
"Hold on, I am a painter, let me grab a business card out of my car!"
And the rest is history. She had a spot she wanted filled for January 2022, and I was more than willing. I had no idea what it entailed, but knew it was a good opportunity and I had to jump in head first. Once I found out I had to do a live interview for the local Dracut cable station, I for sure panicked a little bit. But when they told me they give the questions ahead of time, I calmed down because I knew I could prep and practice my responses, which put my mind at ease. And practice I did! It made so much of a difference for my nerves.
There also is an online gallery event taking place on January 22nd, the tickets are free through Dracut Arts, and its time slotted at two different times. I created a slideshow of my work, with an artist statement I wrote and recorded for it, along with some nature sounds to really give it an almost meditative feel. Get your tickets here.
Before the holidays I was also given a few sale offers for online art interviews to a wider international audience, which I also know I want to start dabbling in. The one that really interested me was through an international art online blog, that is fairly well-known. They get over 10K visitors a day, so it sounded promising. They even edited my words and sentences with a legit editor, which I greatly appreciated, and created a beautiful layout of my work. Read the interview here. I also did an interview with 123 Art Magazine online, and that link is here. For both of these I was just given a list of questions, and answered them at my leisure, so it was fairly stressless. Luckily, I love to write, I am working on loving writing about myself, but I have been enjoying it more and more.
In the end though, I knew I had to start facing some of my fears, and talking about myself with a higher opinion. It is something I have been struggling with, for a very long time. My low self-esteem has been debilitating, at best. Case in point, I haven't even watched this entire interview yet, since I figure, I don't really have to right now! I have been going through some very intensive therapy, to help me cope with my anxiety disorder, that is hard for even me to understand, never mind anyone else. But I feel like I am finally seeing some light at the end of this hard path, so it is encouraging. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout all of this, because I know we all have some degree of darkness we have to deal with. Growing is essential, and change is as well. I have a hard time doing both at once, so just trying to attack the growing part, so that the change part isn't quite so terrifying to me. I have all these ideas and plans for my future, but they just feel SO out of reach, when my mental state is complete garbage. Trying to do this all during an endless pandemic is even harder, as I am sure all of you know!
I try and tell myself that I will get there, and so will all of you. I think many of us have seen what negative thinking and actions can do to a society, and it has really tragic results. I think my mental state after that horrible day on January 6th in D.C., really threw my mind into a spiral of how the hell we got here. And I realized it's because our minds are really very fragile, and can be manipulated to believe in whatever it believes will help it survive. I have been doing a lot of fighting my negative thinking patterns, because I know this is what is holding me back, and the rest of our society. It's a super tough pattern to break out of, but I know we can do it. We only have one life to live, so let's make the most of it!