I made myself go to sleep last night at 12:30 instead of working on video or short story. I wanted to see if I can be just as productive working during the day. I may end up going back to working after nine at night when the mind censors are partially silenced and I am more likely to take risks in the creative choices I make. But I still feel guilty when I get up in late morning or early afternoon. A tiny voice tells me I should work as everybody is supposed to work: eight to five. Ludicrous when you think about: this is why I am “retired” is so I can find more creative ways to discover and develop skills in text, visual and sound media.
On a lark I called Art Silva last night. I stopped calling him last year when it appeared he was not as interested as I was in hooking up again. I remembered the kind of vision and work ethic he applied to shooting video and creating photographic images. I told him how he was genuinely an artist whereas I was trying to develop that part of the psyche in me.
Is that possible? Now I know it is. How good an artist one makes oneself into may be arguable. Can something come from nothing? I think an artistic streak was present in me as a child. April reminds me often enough how I was creative back when we were children. I would gather the other kids outside the bedroom window to stage a play with bedsheets and improvised elements. I would tell them stories. I drew pictures.
Last night Art was receptive. He even sounded glad that I called. He has not done much in the way of creative work since we worked together. He is now completing his sixth year teaching in public school. All his free time he spends helping to raise his kids, the ones here in town and the older ones in Chicago. He really tries to be a good dad despite not being such a good provider. He still thinks of himself as an artist. “It’s not something that goes away.”
Increasingly, being an artist to me means one has to create. There’s no sense in “being” one and not externalizing this into works (a telling word if there is one) that other people can experience. To be an artist is to create art.
He told me he’ll look at my videos on YouTube and get back with me. He said he would like to get together. I keep looking for colleagues to work with. This is another area that I may be forcing just because this is how it is supposed to be. I am not completely convinced that I can be productive and creative working on my own. This would mean total reliance on just my own skills and resources, and this is scary.