What the wow?

Before I accidentally deleted all my data on this website, I had a post about doing a shoot with my friends, Lauren and Dannika.

l&d thing

I've been having a massive art block lately. I've been kind of going through the motions of my day to day routine and lacking my usually rampant creative desire. At first being empty is a blessing. It's a welcome break from all the chaos in my brain. After awhile I get confused. Feeling like I'm going to explode all the time at least gives me something to do without searching. I get lazy. I don't know how to find something to do, and then muster up the energy to put into it.

Yesterday I was bored.

Boredom is a thing that comes so rarely in my life that I can count the times I've been bored in the last five years on two hands.  One of my college professors instilled in me the belief that if you're bored, YOU'RE doing something wrong. I futzed around, tidied up my room, facebooked my old roommate for a hot second, and steeped in the usual "I don't know what to do with myself" anxiety. I sank so heavily into it that I thought I was going to have a heart attack, and couldn't figure out what I wanted to do literally next.

Luckily I received an email from my friend Chris who's been really helping me work through this latest bout of creative malaise.

I really think you need to trust it more, and push it further, and try things and maybe even fuck up a bunch, but keep searching for that thing, that shining little pearl at the center of your story that you know is completely, honestly, bare-to-the-world truthfully you.

How did I get so lucky to have friends like this, right?

I've been making mental lists of what's been keeping me from making things. What sorts of anxieties have woven themselves together in my body that cause me to recoil from even creating something little. Words, pictures, ideas, amalgamations, anything. I used to not hold myself back with anything. Now I'm thinking about it. I spend more time than I'd like to contemplating whether or not expelling the thought is even worth it.

One of the things on my what should I do list for yesterday was mess with some of the pictures from Lauren and Dan's shoot. I decided to open Lightroom on a whim, because I hadn't looked at most of the pictures in months. I get really bored with my photography pretty easily. I think it's because I keep wondering if any of my work has "Wow" factor. You know, like when you see a photograph (or other piece of art/writing/whatever) and you just say WOW. That's 'wow' factor. For whatever reason, I remain convinced that none of my work has this desired wow factor. That it gets lost in a sea of mediocrity; snapshots, moleskins full of bad poetry, and sketches.

Obviously we are our own worst critics, but holding an unshakable belief that anything you make and 'wow' factor can't be in the same sentence CAN'T be healthy. (Or true?)

sssssssssssscrop2sss Here are some of the pictures I messed with. 

Maybe I'm missing something about the artistic process, or maybe I'm doing something "right" by never being fully satisfied with my own work?

My friend Fif  refers to 'wow' factor as 'the pretty'. She's on a quest for the pretty, and I'm on a quest for wow factor. Except that neither of us can discernibly figure out what tangible elements are present in each element. Or if there even is a particular thing that can be objectified about wow factor. (In that there can be similar definitions for different people, as opposed to accepting the completely subjective nature of art in general.)

It's been giving me a headache.

Wow factor has been giving my chest the hurts lately. Is the hollow pursuit of an unexplainable element ruining my life? Perhaps. It's also worth mentioning that I like to call this state of creative limbo an "Ira Glass crisis". (As opposed to a Guido crisis...hehe)

Ira-Glass

If you know who made this image, let me know so I can credit them! 

That's the it of it. You want to make something you'd like if you didn't know that you were the one who made it. That's where I'm at. I want my work to have wow factor. I want to believe that in the beginning of a project, that putting in the work to see it through to its wow factor state is going to be worth it. Lately I've just been too down to do that.

Oh well.

C'est la vie, I guess?

-Mac