Refining the vision

You may have noticed a little facelift here on the blog. It was time to give it a makeover, as I’d stuck with a theme I didn’t really care much about for far too long. The new look here is one which will feel familiar to visitors of my art site – which is still being worked on behind the scenes, so it’s not updated just yet – as they’re built on the same WordPress Twenty Fourteen theme. The fact that they’re both sharing similar elements is a little insight into the way I’ve been thinking lately- I need to simplify. Everything.

I find that I’m becoming less tolerant of bullshit and unnecessary complexity, not just in my blogging/site life, but in life in general. Becoming familiar with one theme for two sites is allowing my brain to focus that extra space/power once allocated for unnecessary complexity onto the next most important thing that matters. This is the future, boys and girls. For me, anyway.

I’m taking that way of thinking into all areas of my life. I’m refining the vision I have for myself, my future. Work, play- they are equals in this shift. I’m eating more simple foods (a lot of which is vegan). I’m working on saying ‘no’ to people who want something from me. I’m cutting back on areas of my life which directly compete for my time and attention in favour of applying all I got into my career and a life I want to live.

I resigned from teaching life-drawing. I’d done it for over three years, and it’ll be over 160 classes by the time I pack up my materials after the final session. It was an important part of my life, but that chapter needs to close so that I may focus more energy on the successes ahead of me with my career. I have big goals and the only way to achieve them is to march ever forward, carrying as few distractions and satellite obligations as possible. I’m brave enough to make the sacrifices.

Saying that, I have a “like”/hate relationship with Facebook. (See what I did there?) Largely, I can’t stand that self-absorbed, over-valued, daily mumblefest that teases me with updates from people with which I often have little in common. The guilt duty I (and others) feel to follow up, like, keep up with, and absorb the daily activities of others is a weight I would like to reduce. I’d quit it all together, but you see, I am not immune to its platform of “look at me” bullshit. I post stuff, but I’m going to post less. Most of my posts there will be automated from this blog, Instagram et al, and that goes for my “professional” Jen Dixon Arts page there too.

I read a very interesting quote in the latest Artists & Illustrators magazine and it resonated with the direction I see myself heading. A professional portrait painter spoke of the artist she studied with and assisted:

He falls out of bed and he’s in the studio. From him, I also learnt that you have to say what you want to say – if you are a storyteller or artist, there is no time to waste on Facebook.

If I want to achieve the future I have in mind, this journey of refining, cutting back, throwing out, and change has only begun.

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