It used to be that anxiety played no part in my work. In fact, the only thing I was even slightly anxious about was falling into a rut or repeating myself.
I recall a podcast discussion with a designer friend I admire, Steve Gordon, who is outstanding with design, branding, etc., and a fantastic entrepreneur I also admire, Megan Hunt. I explained how I work on a series, then completely abandon it once I’ve completed it, then start fresh in a new direction, from scratch, and both reacted as if I might be insane.
The truth is, concepts drive my work, and I change medium and style fairly frequently, depending on the needs of the concept at hand. I’m never really anxious about taking on new things, so apprehension played little part in my work.
That is, until I woke up one morning and my wife was gone. Her death, and that day, changed everything.
It’s been almost impossible to return to any creative endeavors, especially art made in a studio. In fact, it’s been nearly five years since I’ve done anything significant in my studio.
I found over the past two years that, if I was doing something that honored Beth, however, I was able to bare my soul like I’ve never done with any previous work. Yet, showing that work and talking about it has been more challenging than any other presentations I’ve done. I can’t even watch my film, my love letter to her, with an audience. I hide and inevitably leave the theater during most screenings.
Suddenly, I can’t avoid anxiety. But, the truth is, I’ve never run from it, either. I have a tendency to run toward anything that makes me uncomfortable or nervous. I want to address concerns and things that make me tense.
Hopefully, that continues to propel me forward in the years to come. I’m actually a bit anxious about that.