On Being Creative, Being Lost and Being Bold.

So it’s Saturday night, March 4th 2017 and the world is in a crisis. Right?
How else can you put it?
Trump is president and the whole world is in the shitter.
Seen in the shadow of that, my life is pretty good. I mean, I have a wife who I love and admire, we have amazing nature just a few minutes away, I have pets that I love and that give me so much love that sometimes I wonder what the hell they see in me?
Is it really THAT great that I came home from work?
Yes, apparently it is.
It’s beyond tail wagging; it’s a fucking salsa dancing party every time I come home and it makes me very happy.
My wife and I live in a great little duplex, I have a large basement in which I have set up my studio and I spend my mornings down there working on my art. That makes me very happy also. When I take that French press of freshly made coffee and I grab my laptop and walk the eleven steps down into the basement, it is pure joy. I love the mornings I get to spend working on a new drawing.
And I am getting better at it.
I would even say I am pretty damn good at it.
I’ve found my own “voice” and my own expression in my drawings and I feel proud of myself for having developed the patience to do these pictures. Ten years ago, I would not have been able to.
I was very stressed out back then.
I am very stressed out these days too, but life has taught me something, I guess, and that is patience.
Everything takes time. Most things you long for will never happen and it’s OK.
You find something else.
Ten years ago I was devastated because the band I had worked with so hard, for so long, was no more. Instead of being a celebrated musician, I was working for the city, picking up trash in the streets and after I worked for the city for six months, I worked for the Postal Service for a year and a half and I hated every moment of it.
But I did it.
I got up every morning and rode my bike to do a job I hated.
I was in my early twenties when I got my first job as a janitor at the public radio in Stockholm.Now, at 42 I feel like I have done my fair share of hard work and I’m at a point where I have a job that I actually like, but that pays virtually no money.
I am 42 and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
Am I the only one, or do other people feel that way?
I am 42 and I have never been so poor. I have made some choices in life that people would say were stupid or even insane, maybe. But I made the choices I made and I feel pretty happy and proud about it although I do wish that I had, over the years, acquired some sort of education to fall back on, because being poor sucks.
It’s OK to be 21 and be poor and not know how you’re going to pay rent. Not so much at 42.
I keep working on my drawings and I keep thinking that maybe people will like it and want to buy something. So I spend $100 I really can’t afford to spend on making a couple of prints, thinking I will sell a few and get my money back and then nobody wants any…
That’s the life of all starving artists, I suppose.
It can be pretty discouraging.
And still, I know that I will continue and I will learn with every new drawing and I will get better and maybe some day something will happen; somebody will “discover me” and things will work out.
I keep thinking these things. And then I remember my mother’s diary that my stepfather went through after her death, and I specifically remember a passage reading something like ” I’m 42 years old and I have still not had my big breakthrough…”
And I think “wow…that kind of sounds like me…”
My mother wanted to be a writer. She was always writing stuff and she kept sending the scripts to publishers and magazines and she kept getting these “Thanks but no thanks” letters.
And yet she kept writing. She kept a diary until the day that she died. The last entry was literally a few hours before she killed herself.
There’s something about the creative process that can never be explained to someone who doesn’t have “it”. “IT” being that urge, that drive, that longing to be creative. It’s not a hobby. It’s not just something that is fun and that passes time for a few hours every weekend. It is so much more; a need so deep and vague and that can be so very satisfying and so very frustrating at the same time.
Unlike when I was writing songs, I have never felt forced to do my art.
It is fun, only fun.

 

I love that feeling and I hope I can keep it that way.

I don’t know where I’d be without it.
p.s. If you are interested in buying a print from me (or an original), send me a message. I accept payments via PayPal.
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About David Fridlund

Born in Sweden 1974. Moved to Austin TX in 2009 w my wife.
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