This is my final week of working with The Artist's Way. I'm kind of stunned that I made it through the three months, and proud of myself at the same time - plus, it really has made a huge difference to my confidence and self-esteem as an artist, and has unblocked this massive slew of ideas that I can't wait to get started on. Which brings me to my sticking point - the last hurdle if you will - and that's actually getting to my studio space. I seem to have developed something of a phobia about this, and although I'm working through it, I could do with some extra help. Here's the thing. I used to have a studio space in Shoreham in a lovely old converted warehouse/factory building. I was the first one in, and was pretty much the only person there for about six months whilst the building was still being renovated. I was averaging probably three days a week (there was a train commute involved) and as well as sorting out the space to my liking, was getting a lot of productive and creative work done. Other people started to move in, and I took part in an Artist's Open House there, and then one day my daughter emailed me to say that our beloved cat had gone missing... and then we found her dead. Which was devastating. So, my attendance started to drop because the studio reminded me of that day. And I talked about it with the other artists and they were really supportive. This next bit is important: although NO ONE ever said anything, I was convinced that they were annoyed at my attendance. I also got it into my head that I wasn't a Proper Artist because I hadn't painted anything in ages and I didn't go there every day.
I eventually moved out to a new studio space in Brighton - partly because Shoreham had too many ghosts for me and partly because the commute became too expensive. The new studio is about a fifteen minute walk from where I live so I can theoretically go there every day, and the space is great, the people are lovely and so on. But every time I pack my bag ready to go, I freeze. I think that I've been there maybe twice throughout the entire month of July. I find it almost impossible to leave the house and go because I still have this weirdness about "they're judging me on my attendance and therefore I'm not a Real Artist", and now I'm also the New Kid. And we all know how vulnerable it feels to be the New Kid. I also don't feel like I can talk to them about it the same way that I did in the old place on account of that. You don't want a new person collaring you and begging you to psychoanalyse them, do you? Once again:
- No one has ever said anything
- Some people there haven't been in months because of life and work and have said so to me
- Everyone I've met there is really nice
I'm pretty sure that it's rooted in my experiences at school. I moved back to England from Canada when I was 11, so I was the New Kid who was weird, short, fat, shy, and had a funny accent. This still haunts me. Why can't I let this experience go? I've managed to work through every other negative experience in the last three months except this one - I want to break down this last hurdle. Any ideas?