While tidying up some stuff on my very messy computer, I found two old paintings of mine. They’re really old, probably done for an art assignment when I was 13 or so. The assignment required us to do 9 4×4 squares of art, each with a theme/subject to keep to. I liked these two the most and took pictures of them with my ancient Nokia handphone before misplacing them somewhere in my cupboard.
I sometimes wonder how differently my art work would have turned out if I had gone to art college instead of studying English Literature and other academic subjects. Then again, wondering about hypotheticals doesn’t do much in the way of improvement. Did I ever mention how much anxiety I had just picking up the brush again? When I was younger, I painted because it was fun. I told my mom I wanted to be an artist. When I grew older and was swamped with school work I had little time to devote to art. It became a source of anxiety for me because I kept dwelling upon the missed chances, the many years in which I could have improved my skills but didn’t and worst of all, how good other people already were. Even when I had time I would resist doing art. I felt paralysed.
Things changed recently. I went through a period of anxiety about my health and other things. It was one of the worst times of my life but also became, in retrospect, one of the most artistically productive times too. I turned back to doing art as a form of solace and therapy. I drew things on my iPhone and took photos. I starting writing and painting again.
I’m in the midst of painting this. It’s still far from finished and part of the reason is because I’ve also been doing other things, like writing fiction/poetry and composing music. This journey has been nothing short of amazing and perhaps, just perhaps, without all the adversity and uncertainty, I wouldn’t have been prompted to kickstart my creative processes again. I thank God for seeing me through everything and for inspiring me with love and light – and hope, always.
One thing I know now: creating things is what I need to do in life. And I will keep on doing these things until I’m no longer here.