This is a very personal journal entry that I want to share, so I would ask of those whom I personally know to understand that while this is significant to me, it is not something that changes anything and I would prefer you refrain from making light or fun of this.
Those that know me enough and those that have read my various journal entries over the years know that I have had an issue with my wavering passion in my "art", wanting to improve and create great things yet suffering from a dwindling thrill for the whole thing. This drop of interest also affected my ability to improve. I struggled with a lot of theories as to why, and ways to get back on track. Be it to play less video games, find time to isolate myself to focus on drawing, buying art books and art tutorial books, get away from it all, mind tricks, etc. This has been a large part of who I was for the better part of the past 15 years. Though I have seen some changes from time to time, nothing stuck. I couldn't find an answer, and could blame anything. I recently understood it all. It was "realism". To explain, I have to go back almost 18 years in the past:
In my teenage year I discovered japanese comics (manga). To me it was exotic and in many ways was like a virtual reality. The realism and attention to detail in the backgrounds, objects and costumes astounded me; characters that were more realistic than cartoons, but more approachable than american superheros; the wide variety of subjects treated, some with great artistry; the flow of movements that made you feel the wind and impacts. It was thrilling. It was like jumping into another world unlike any comics I read before. It was this mix of "newness" and those qualities that totally got me engrossed.
Up to that point I drew a lot mostly because it was fun but , because of manga, I discovered a strong passion in expressing a feeling of realism. By realism, I don't mean making photo-realism; I mean that you could sense a real world looking at a comic panel or illustration.
Considering this, know that in my teenage years I was a bit of an introvert. My family moved all the time across the country. Making friends was a long process which I had to start over multiple times, in an age where the internet didn't exist. In a crucial time of my teenage years where socializing skills should most develop, I stumbled unto a passion that would take me away from this development. The urges of those my age to go out and do crazy stuff, flirt, and, well, live as a teenager weren't as strong. This world I discovered allowed me, in my mind, an infinity of realities. It was intoxicating. For the earlier years, I was satiated. Making drawings became my new path in life.
As the years went by this passion to create worlds and improve on my drawing skills couldn't keep me satiated as much as before. I am human and I need to live as much as anyone. Slowly I did more things, socialized a bit more, then came a turning point in my life: I lost my mother. My art and passion for it dwindled dramatically from this point on. Yet that was not the real reason why it was all fading...
Not long after my mother's death, I fell in love with someone . Strongly. I lived a pleasant 6 years with this new sweet passion of mine, socializing even more, doing all the things I had missed the previous years, living like a normal human being you could say. As the years went by I saw my passion for art wasn't improving. I didn't know why. I thought that maybe I needed more time alone to improve and get back in touch with my art, though I never really took a serious step in that direction. Sadly though, that relationship came to an end. My love for her had grown significantly stronger than that for my art, but that love couldn't be shared anymore.
The next 2 years was spent on trying to get back on track and getting intimate with my drawing skills. To my deception even all that free time for myself couldn't console me from the breakup. I had the same struggles. One day as I was studying one of my older japanese comics that inspired me long ago, it hit me: that REALISM! It now made sense: I tried to improve as an artist for all these years, overlooking that little tingle of "realism" that made me so passionate about all this in the first place!
. . .
Yet that fire cannot be reignited anymore. I lived things that went beyond what comics could provide. In fact, the very things I looked for in comics existed around me all the time.
Unless I end up being some sort of lonely hermit nerd, which I definitely don't want to happen, I cannot become absorbed on the same level in my art as I did before.
What does this mean? I'm not sure yet: Maybe I will allow myself more freedom in finding something else to be passionate about ; maybe I can think about this "realism" aspect to help me through some drawings. What I do know is that I put up a fight for a long time to make my drawings my #1 priority, and that now I can finally let go. I feel relieved now that I know WHY the passion was fading. I will STILL do drawings and try to improve, but I won't feel guilty or pressured about it anymore.
I hope this could be of help to those who may be struggling with a path they chose in their lives, as well as the young people who may be avoiding confronting their lives head on with artificial escapes or replacements. Life becomes so much bigger and brighter when you allow yourself to live it, no matter the consequences.
Love you all and take care!