I’m here to tell you about my greatest failure, as a daughter, as a friend, and as an artist.
I have always been an artist, for as long as I can remember I’ve been doodling in a book. It became my identity, when people would ask who I was, my answer would simply be “I am an artist” there would always be paint under my nails and splattered somewhere on my clothing.
In my early 20s I stumbled upon what I thought was A magical key.
I began using drugs as a tool to my creativity, little did I know that it would rob me of my family, my friends, endless artistic opportunities, and most of my adult life. Not only did Crystal meth amplify my creativity, the lifestyle that went along with it was ripe with content. The desolate places I’d been, the wandering souls I’d stumble upon, the sleepless nights, so much filthy beauty. Rich emotions that I had never been able to express artistically before, flowed on to the pages, bubbled out of the canvases.
Beautiful pieces that never made it to the public, never made it out of my dingy hotel room. I was offered shows in gallerys, but never seemed to be able to produce enough work to fill them. I lost contact with my family, pushed away my friends, was incapable of keeping a job. For 7 years I dug a hole that I should have died in, all in the name of my “creative” pursuits.
I have been clean for almost 4 years now.
I can tell you it isn’t easy to climb out of a hole you spent 7 years digging. Employers are pretty weary of hiring someone with a 7 year employment history gap. Social situations are pretty hard to fit into for quite while. Even now, almost 4 years later, sometimes I still feel like the odd man out. But mostly I lost my identity, my creativity slowed to a grinding halt.
If I could not find my identity as an artist, where would I find it?
I’ve just recently found my identity again, I’m a mother. And in that title I have found that creativity takes many routes, that my creativity isn’t confined to a canvas, my mediums are not confined to paints and pencils. That the shaping of a life is the ultimate act of creation for me, and in this I have finally made peace. In this peace I have found new inspiration.
No one will ever know my name or recognize my work. The contents of my art room will be enjoyed mostly by me, and someday my son.
This post is by Cynthia Janisse.
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