Continuing on from my previous blog post, after regaining my art abilities and then scooting off and hiding under a rock at the flood of anxiety that ensued, I lost motivation and I lost that obsessive interest that allows me to effortlessly hyper-focus and overcome my awful executive function to complete art projects. I was sure that my brief moment of art was over and done with and life was returning to status quo.
However one evening, about a year later, a friend of mine showed me a free open source digital art program called Krita. I was no stranger to digital art, having used Photoshop since 1997 and having done a multimedia diploma and graphic art diploma, but Photoshop did not inspire me to paint. Krita was something else again – the brushes felt amazing to use and my obsessive focus latched onto it like a bulldog. My motivation returned and once again my art evolved over a short period of time from sketchy to complex.
In addition, not only did my motivation return, so did my imagination! After being unable to mentally visualise/imagine properly since taking that fateful medication, it returned in force and I was able to return to the fantasy artworks that I enjoyed when younger. I have no idea what happened up there in my grey matter to cause me to lose my ability and regain it fully 13 years later, but I felt whole again at long last. I felt like everything I had lost had returned to me in a better form, like a caterpillar disappearing into a cocoon to return as a butterfly.
Butterflies and butterfly wings actually became a recurring visitor in my artworks, which I didn’t really notice for a time. When I became aware of it, it felt apt and I decided it was probably a subconscious metaphor for the whole experience.
I began to take commissions for my digital artworks and this continued well for a while until I started to butt up against the same problems that had plagued my earlier foray into art. Once more I withdrew when the weight of it became overwhelming. I was beginning to feel a bit like a yo-yo at this point, despairing of being able able to ever turn my artistic abilities into something that could work for me.
All was not lost however! Several people are now working with me to help me gain a stable basis from which to work. With expert help and some at-home support I’ve been able to start gaining confidence at the ‘people’ side of being an artist. I’ve also had help with scheduling and tactics to keep my executive function at heel. To top it all off, I now also have an agent who deals with a number of artists on the spectrum. An organisation called Strokes of Genius have signed me and will exhibit and sell my traditional art in the USA. So – onward and upwards!