This past week, I have been striving to balance my practice with teaching, career development and my social life (that is a whole other blog post). During this balancing act, I have also been revisiting old work as I embark on new projects that are completely throwing me out of my comfort zone. It is funny how you look back on old stuff and it seems so beginner. However, when you really reflect and put yourself back in the space you were in when you made the work, all the feelings of being scared, nervous, unsure, confused, excited, and challenged all flood back. I love reflecting back to these periods because they show me how far I have come and remind me that I never really ever know what I am doing, so I just need to get used to these waves of feelings and make the work.
In all honesty, I have had a blockage in my own practice as of late. I have been reading/researching, collaborating with other artists and looking at other work and even brainstorming in my journals. Making the ideas physical by generating material, however, has been a challenge. Those voices in my head insist: You don’t know what you are doing! You need more training, more research… What’s the impact of this work anyway? Who will care?… I’m sure you are familiar with these voices too. And to these voices, I say: You are right, I don’t know what I am doing, and maybe I could use more training and research and I don’t know the impact yet, and who cares who cares? What I DO know is that I have something that needs to materialize and that is that. That is all the reason I need to proceed.
Something is trying to come out and I would be insulting my parents and grandparents and my ancestors if I didn’t make the work. It is because of their sacrifices that I have the space, physical ability, freedom and privilege to make art and do whatever else I want to do. I don’t need any other reason. So I am revisiting past work to remind myself that in the face of this thick forest called doubt, I just have to move through it and trust the navigation of my instincts.