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I painted after a month, and immediately burst into tears

- My Changing Relationship with Art and Social Media

Over the past year, I’ve observed a shift in the way I approach art. From being my primary identity, art has turned into something I used to do. Between a busy full time job and a new baby, it lost it’s place in my day. That coupled with the primary lever of my growth as an artist, Instagram, turning it’s back on anything that wasn’t a short entertaining video was the nail in the coffin. From December of 2020, when I sold over 100 copies of my calendar through just one post on Instagram, to now when barely 50 people even see my posts, it has forced me to just stop. From posting twice a day to once a month to barely even opening the app anymore, I just don’t feel like it’s worth the effort.

However, all this has made me wonder if I was even creating for the right reasons. I would paint small quick mediocre paintings just so it was easy to record the process. I would have perfectly manicured nails because they needed to look pretty in pictures and videos. I couldn’t just paint in my painting shirt because I needed to be proper for videos and photos. I wasn’t doing what I really loved - making art and writing.

I was feeling down the other day when I picked up a fresh canvas and started painting at 1 am, after more than a month of not making any art. As soon as the brush touched the canvas, I burst into tears. It was just the therapy I needed, and I realised what I was missing. It’s still worth creating if you don’t get to share it with a lot of people.

I miss my beautiful community. I miss my people. I know they’re not on Instagram anymore, and I really want to figure out where they are. But till that time, I will keep making for myself. All I can say is, thank god I didn’t quit my job like I wanted to in 2019, and put all my eggs into the social media basket to live off of my art.

If you have feelings similar to mine, comment below and let me know how you are dealing with it.

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