There is a whole part to being an artist that we don’t talk about much.
The feeling, the opening, the brutal joy and pain behind the colors, the lines, the strokes. A creative life is just as much about feeling as it is about making.
I’m slowly learning this vicious, gorgeous cycle:
Live. > Feel ______. > Create. Repeat.
For me, during those "feeling" times I have to allow myself to go inward and not create. Instead I have to protect and myself to process so I can leave my heart on the canvas (or paper, or google doc).. when I'm ready.
Problems arise when I don't take the time to feel. I get blocked, sick, and sometimes depressed. You HAVE to feel. You must sift through whatever muck is inside you. If you want your work to be real and vulnerable and have the chance to heal you and the world, this is the only way.
You have to live. You have to feel. It's going to suck sometimes. Let it suck. Let your heart feel pain. Offer it some tea and a place to sit for a while. Exist with it.
Take the time you need. Let your pens get dusty. Be around people who love you. Let them take care of you. Let them cook you dinner. Drink wine. Eat pizza. Listen to music and do that really ugly violent cry. Sit in your apartment staring at the wall asking "Why?".
Do whatever you need to fully feel whatever it is.
While you're in the throes, know that it will get better. You will stop crying. You will be able to leave your house again. You will start to see a little bit of light, but you'll still be raw. And that is when you go to the canvas, put your pencil to paper, and create. You leave your heart on the table.
You live, you feel, and you create. This is the life of an artist.