Rannie's entry today really threw me off what I was planning to put here this morning. Actually I completely forget what I was going to put here so... Anyways, he touched on a few things that led me to make this site in the first place so I thought I'd write about that instead.
Over the last few years I began to feel that I wasn't expressing myself. Which is kind of a strange thing to explain to people because I make my living being creative and I am essentially expressing myself on a constant basis. But it was more than that for me. I felt really disconnected between who I am inside and what I do. I just had this really strong, really painful feeling in my gut that I wasn't expressing myself at all and that I was losing myself on some level. At times the feeling was so intense I felt I was going to suffocate. And you know what else is frustrating? When I would try to talk openly and honestly about this with some of the people around me, they didn't want to hear it. They would change the subject or get really uncomfortable. Actually some friends did hear what I said and really did want to talk about it and for that I have great appreciation.
For me this problem is complicated because it has its root in a variety of places. Part of being a designer for me has been about expressing another person's vision. I don't feel as if what I design for others is really me. So while I'm in a creative job, there is a distance between myself and the work, which at times can be a nice safe, comfortable distance. Another problem is that I started to come to rely on certain tricks I've developed over the years. I felt my designs were just rehashing the same ole same ole over and over again. I wasn't pushing myself. I started to lose any kind of persective on the work I was doing. It all looked like shit to me. I couldn't enjoy my accomplishments anymore. I felt like the people close to me were bullshitting me with their compliments and praise. So on another level I became dependant on that to give me some perspective on what I was doing. Because if I couldn't tell if something was good or not, then maybe someone else could... even if I still don't really think they're being completely truthful. So complicated.
Another problem is that I started projects that had an intension or purpose in my mind but the way they were perceived by others was very opposite to that. As a result I began slowly and subtley altering what I did to go with the wishes of my perceived audience and at the same time became frustrated with feeling as if I wasn't expressing myself clearly if people's perceptions were so off. Which I think is partly true.
Another issue that comes into play here is that over the last few years I have changed, alot. I don't feel like I'm the same person anymore. I'm not the same person anymore and that's a good thing. I like who I am. But it has left a gap between who I am inside and who I am externally. I need to express myself more honestly despite the consequences I have built up in my mind. I have always felt a need to express things about me as a person but at some point in my adult life, for various reasons, I began to create a wall around myself and as a result even I became disconnected from parts of myself. I stopped writing personal stuff. I stopped drawing personal stuff. I stopped doing all these things for myself that I used to do really unself-consciously.
So at some point I realised that I had to act. I knew I needed to create space and time in everyday to do this. So far it is working out. It's not all sunshine and roses but I have started doing more personal things outside of this context even so that's something.