Fine Art Photography
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Brick By Brick We're Building

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I've never been confident in my look, or style. I've been even less confident in my body. This anxiety has been doubled and then some since I've put weight on and stopped looking like a junkie. There's something delightful when I'm bones and far-too-thin. I know; I know it's not healthy, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the floating feeling that being under-weight brings to me. Logically I agree when everyone tells me that I look better at a healthy weight, rationally I know they are right. I've never liked listening to my rational brain, preferring the irrational just because. Either way, losing weight isn't really on the cards right now when summer is coming and sitting in beer gardens with friends is a very attractive proposition.

There also seems no better way of gaining confidence in my physical self than posting photos for the whole internet to see. I told you I didn't like my rational brain.

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I'm still in darkness as far as my living room is concerned. Remember when I told you they were re-building the bay window? Yup, it's an ongoing process and I need to speak to my landlord to try and get reduced rent when 50% of my flat is shrouded in impenetrable doom. Which might just be a slight over-statement.

It's a strange time in my life and I'm not sure where my head is at. I saw my psychiatrist on the first for my three-monthly hang out session. My Dr is a good psychiatrist and he listens to me, which is a first for my many other experiences. I don't feel 'unwell' as such, but I don't feel a lot better either. It's been two years since my last hospitalisation; which simultaneously feels like forever and no time at all. Without medication I have crushing highs and lows similar to those with Bipolar, except with Borderline Personality Disorder, my emotions rocket around similar to a pin-ball machine. Medications steady that; but I can't help but miss some of those extreme emotions. Those extreme emotions may have led me to do some incredibly stupid things, but they also led me to do things that have defined me as a person in a good way. I don't know what the answer is.

I do know though that if I stop taking Quetiapine (Seroquel) I will lose some weight. Ho hum.

I think, what it really is, is I'm losing enthusiasm for art. I have ideas I want to try out, I still enjoy printing and drawing and all those other things; but there is no urgency. In the past I've become like a woman possessed creating things and keeping myself awake with ideas and possibilities. Recently there has been none of this. I don't want to see it as a symptom of something bigger. I don't want to start looking for meanings to this lack of excitement, I want to remember that this is just a moment I am in and it more than likely won't last forever. I will come through the other side with a deeper appreciation for my own artistic abilities and passions.

Tracey Emin T-shirt

Last Friday on tweet-er I had a brief but troubling conversation with the delightful Karina of williesun.com on creating our best works in mental distress. Do we really have to be in such a painful place to create works that we are not just proud of, but really show what we're capable of? The thought is concerning when to be in a perpetual state of high emotion is not just tiring but leads further down the spiral. If everyday is one of misery, misery becomes the norm and individually we discover new levels of distress that were once hidden from us.

When so many great artists, writers, have been troubled by mental illness and a disconnect from real life it creates an archetype that isn't healthy. I never wanted to aspire to the Van-Gogh trope of cutting off my own ear. Both Karina and myself would like to create good pieces without the misery that has so far accompanied those good (great) pieces. Happy and mental well-being never seems to flow so well into art though does it?

Then again, maybe I am just completely biased. I am classed as 'mentally ill' and have an art degree. I have created works about my own emotional distress. It feels almost hypocritical to say I don't want to be doing that when I have and the work was well received.

I don't know what I'm saying today. I'm thinking of my appointment with my psychiatrist and the things that I spoke to him about, and what the next step is, because there is always a next step. Even if I feel stuck in sludge, I'm not really and there is very little to lose by taking that next step.

Jeans: H+M, T-Shirt: Tracey Emin, Shoes: Duck Egg Converse, Glasses: Specsavers

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