November 27, 2012

too real

i think trying to help other artistic people i care about to find motivation is one of my least favorite things. i hate seeing people i care about unhappy, and on top of that, i feel like i’m all thumbs, hopelessly inadequate, especially because i have a hard time finding motivation myself. i know what it’s like to work full time and suffer from depression to the point where you only have a couple hours to yourself after work every week, and you’re so exhausted and sad that you can’t bring yourself to do anything but eat, shower and maybe watch some tv before bed. i came the closest to ending my life i’ve ever come because of my state of mind at that time; because my mental well-being was actually withering up and dying because i wasn’t able to create art, among other things. and i don’t know what to tell other people in similar situations because the only solution i was able to come to was quitting my job, even though i couldn’t really afford to. thankfully i have a supportive partner who was willing and able to support me, and if he wasn’t willing or able to, i would have been able to go back to my home state and live with my parents or other family…i wouldn’t have liked having to do that at all, but i had that option. a lot of people don’t have those options at all.

the best advice i can give anyone is just do it. one of my biggest pet peeves is when people see other people doing something cool, like knitting, drawing, making music, whatever, and say “that’s so cool! i wish i could do that.” i’m guilty of this myself, but it makes me want to say “then just do it.” because i realized that the only thing we’re born knowing how to do is eat and poop…you gotta learn everything else. maybe someone is more predisposed to being good at something, or making it look easy, but they had to learn too, the same as you do. i realized i can get rid of the majority of my bad feelings about not being productive enough if i just be productive. my productivity still isn’t as good as others’; i’m probably quite slow by comic artist standards, and i still kick myself a bit for it, but i’m still creating. because i remember how bad and dark being at a complete stop felt. i might slow down, but i never want to let myself stop, ever again.

but i also know there are plenty of artists who are working a day job to survive like i was (and most likely will again), who have mental health problems like i do, who get worn down by the daily grind and feel less than human, like they can’t think, much less work on the things that are beneficial for their mental health and well-being anymore. i know because i was there. and they ask me what they can do, and i want to tell them “just do it,” but i know that doesn’t work when you’re in that state of mind. so i don’t know what to tell them. i wish i did.