I took an art break for the last few days, because creativity requires breaks to keep going.
So instead of investigating the mysteries of brushstrokes that play with the content of an image, rather than simply being utilitarian color fills, or the intricacies of layering and mixing in colored pencil, I played heavy board games. My blog post queue is quite full of scheduled posts for the next week.
Way earlier today I also posted a picture to Instagram that got more likes than the number of followers I have would justify, and I'm not even counting the spambot likes. My followers are in the single digits.
But instead of being excited by likes, I found I didn't care. They don't motivate me anymore, though I don't know if they ever really validated me, or just gave the illusion of validation. At some point in the past year, validation from artists apart from a couple receded in importance. This even includes big tier artists.
And my annoyance with the restrictions imposed by other artists in order for art to qualify as "real art" mostly stems from worrying that they're miserable or making others miserable—but for my own art? I really don't care.
It's not that I don't seek to be a great artist. I just don't think that sticking to the footsteps of any teacher, no matter how exalted, is how I would best enjoy art.
I'm content to post my art to Instagram in case other people find it comforting, but damn I wish I could just turn off all like notifications.
Ava Jarvis is an ink and watercolor artist with a portfolio site at avajarvisart.com. If you found this post useful, consider a one-time tip or supporting Ava on Patreon.