• Swee

The Creative Wall - Thoughts from January 26, 2018

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

I commonly hit a wall. And by that I mean I’m always hitting a wall. But I’m going to look at that wall and I’m going to say WALL, fuck you. And I’m gonna have to get over wanting my work to be amazing and just know if I am honestly me it will be amazing (maybe). 

In my junior year of high school when we are all trying to decide where we wanted to go to college, in preparation for the senioritis that was about to hit, so many people, including myself, asked if I’d apply to go to art school. 

I loved art. I still love art. I’m kind of underdeveloped when it comes to art, always wishing I could do portraits like my grandfather, but I’ve got an eye for shapes and shadows knowing that’s all things really are. We are all just shapes and shadows, our image being formed by light. 

Anyway, enough with that artsy fartsy observation. ART. Or anything that you’re talented at for that matter. I had a ton of talent. I still do. But what I’m trying to get to is that when I felt pressured to perform it was like walking straight into a pothole, my brain startled and my foot failing to understand I had to take a bigger step, clearly tripping and smashing face first into the ground. Aka a fancy way of saying I’d get stuck. Trip, fall, whatever. 

Some could say that I'd “hit a wall” and subsequently what I think I’ve also done is build a wall. I am literally scared to death of being good at what I can naturally do. 

Instead, I’ve successfully wiggled myself into size zero legal assistant pants over the last 18 years, because apparently, it was easier than finding a way around the creative wall, through the wall, up the wall, etc. 

I am good at being told what to do and I’m also really good at producing what has been asked of me. 

A real artist of life, I tell ya. You request, I produce/create what you’re looking for. I am going to stop comparing my legal assistant skills to any real artistry RIGHT NOW because it will be my main excuse to stay in this position. And also offensive to my actual talent.  

I look at a picture and I can reproduce it. Some people wish they could do that. 

I can hear a song and reproduce it on a piano. Some people wish they could do that. 

I think I was trying to get to something here... Right so, when it came time to apply to colleges I did toy with the idea of going to art school. Well, not toy, deep down it’s all I wanted. I wanted Parsons or The New School or Adelphi or whatever. 

Two of my art teachers, Mr. Z and Mr. Pena both encouraged me to put together a portfolio. 

That portfolio sits under my guest room bed, incomplete and collecting dust along with all the other artwork I seem to hold onto so that I can prove to people one day that there was a time I had talent. 

Most of my talent is stuck under a bed or inside a secret compartment collecting dust. Like the sheet music warmly snuggled inside the piano bench that resides appropriately beneath the piano in my living room. The piano my mother said I could take from home now that my sister had moved out. The piano my wife researched movers for and a television mounter for so that we could have the space in our New York City apartment to fit the electronic ivory upright from the 90s.

Fossils of a past life. And only I am the one who has the control to make them extinct, keep them extinct.  

I imagine the wall I've built, grey cinderblocks neatly stacked, the cement seeped out layer by layer and I swiftly wiped away the overflow with a mason's hand tool. It stands between me and the land of my talent and success. It is doodled on, graffitied on, and the spray paint cans sit at my feet. All this done with my own two hands. - January 26, 2018.


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