Politics, art and business
Those are big words, eh? I have had these three battling it out in my brain since like... this time last year? My artwork, from the beginning, even the whales, was all about happiness, cuteness and joy. I've never been one to create in anger (well, just that one time) but the events of the last 12 months made it really hard for me to just keeping sticking my fingers in my ears and scream LALALALA while I draw.
Lots of my contemporaries have eloquently, simply, engagingly and just like bloody brilliantly share their rage and frustration at the government, the Covid crisis, the murder of black people, equality and visibility for everyone and I share, I nod along, I go Oh My God YES when I read their posts and blog posts. But when it comes to sharing those thoughts myself I seize up; why is that?
In part, I'm scared of saying the 'wrong' thing and upsetting people. Even though mistakes are great to learn from, that fear really paralyses me. Another thing that halts me is that it takes me a really long time to process my feelings into words that I can think let alone speak or write. It can take me days, sometimes weeks to work out how I've been feeling about a thing. And I'm a terrible over thinker when I want to be. I mean, it's taken me a year to write this blog post. How's that for over thinking?
I am also not certain if the world needs my white, cis-gendered opinion, when there are more marginalised voices we should be listening to. Sometimes when I feel compelled to post or share something I really have to check - am I performing? Am I sharing this because I want to signal to people I am not a massive racist? That is not a good reason for sharing something. So I find it really hard to detangle wanting to promote marginalised voices from my desire to get a pat on the head for my wokeness - this is gross to admit.
The last and least important reason, but still one that gives me pause, is that so often people say to me that my content and my artwork cheers them up, and is so refreshing and positive. And I love that, I live for it, affirm me moooore please. But then it makes me think, darn, if I start getting all political are people going to leave? I'm not worried about people disagreeing with me (my dad was supes political and we rarely agreed so I'm well practised), I'm happy to ignore trolls, and I don't have a problem with someone choosing not to follow me cos they find out I'm a bleeding heart leftie (seems a silly reason to follow someone or not.. unless you're following them FOR the politics?) Argh. I'm getting tangled up again. I think what I'm trying to say is that I'd hate for someone to be feeling down, or overwhelmed with the world (it is SO overwhelming at the moment) to check my insta stories or grid for some relief and there isn't any escape there from the constant bad news. Do you know what I mean?
I think what I'm trying to say, is that I am feeling conflict between my personal thoughts and opinions and the content I produce as an artist and business owner. I don't have a personal instagram account, my life and my biz are on my main account, and sometimes a bit more life creeps in than I would like.
I don't think I have a very satisfying conclusion for this blog. I still haven't found a balance I feel comfortable with. I want to share my thoughts because I do have them, and don’t want to just ignore what’s happening in the world, but I don’t want to bring people down (this is probs impossible, but a girl can dream) I don’t want to second guess my motives, but I also have to keep that ego in check cos it does weird things. I wanted to write this blog post because my political opinions have snuck into newsletters, the grid, my stories, and I suppose I wanted to give some context as to why it's so scattered and up and down. And I think that's all I have to say. Feel free to drop me an email if you want to chat about this, I feel like the only way I can ever make sense of thoughts and feelings is by talking about them, even if I just need to babble it all out. Let's babble.