Progress is Progress

There are days when I absolutely hate the things that Facebook tries to unearth and resurface because some of the things which happened in the past should just, you know, stay where they are supposed to be. And that’s right in the past. However, there are actual days when I get a little bit thankful for it. It’s a rare occurence but it actually happens.

The photo above is what Facebook decided to show me the other day. It is a photo of my self-portrait from year 2015. HA! HAHA! Normally I would cringe from whatever pops up on my On This Day but I think this one looks pretty decent and not very cringe-y to share. So here it is.

Okay. I REALLY suck at digressing but this is the real reason why I wrote this. This photo came up on such a time when I guess, I actually needed it. I am currently, once again, experiencing a creative rut and it is frustrating as hell. I have the time to paint but I will always find any excuses that I could just so I would not touch my brushes and watercolor set. The lighting in our boarding house is poor. I am sleepy. I want to write more on my journal. Coffee shops are expensive. I want to walk today. Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. I’m just really highly unmotivated to do anything.

Last month I’ve set up some personal projects to challenge myself and to somehow force myself to create. Unfortunately, I have been thoroughly unsatisfied with everything that I end up making. I almost didn’t push through with my “14 Faces”. My “Filipino Churches” have been set aside for weeks now. And I couldn’t come up with any ideas on what to paint. It’s just that, I feel so uninspired. And I totally did not steal that line from Bic Runga’s Sway. That is just how I really feel.

I sometimes lurk in Pinterest to find some inspiration but I end up feeling even more demotivated by the sheer amount of beautiful artworks all around the world. It felt like what I make is total crap. Like, why am I even trying? It’s pointless. And then I would see my favorite artists and my artist friends on Instagram posting these really gorgeous original artworks they make and I’m like, how can they make art every week? How come they are so driven? How can they feel so inspired? Why are they so creative? And why am I not?

Oh God I feel stuck.

I cannot even conceptualize original ideas. I haven’t developed my own style. I feel like I am not improving and that I cannot offer anything new to the world of art. I feel like I’m wasting my time with art.


But then, that photo showed up. And it made me realize how far along I have already come. (It is not very far but still.) If you compare my art from three years ago to my art now, you can see a really significant progress. I was into chibi art before. And I didn’t know how to use other colors from my watercolor set except for the primary colors. Jesus. It felt like a long time ago. I have definitely improved my art. And I should be happy with that. I should be inspired by that. Right?

That realization did not, in any way, magically break down the barriers currently (and temporarily) blocking my creative journey. But I am hoping that it is the start. I will fight. I’ll start small again. And I will get through this. I know!

So Krishel! No matter how little, progress is still progress. And no one, including yourself, should take that for granted. Krishela, you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. And you should stop comparing yourself to others. It is not healthy and it is not helpful. Just take your time but don’t give up on art. It is within you! Fighting!

16 thoughts on “Progress is Progress”

  1. art is indeed within 🙂 well, i’d say it’s okay if you will use the comparison to thrive and not to be jealous or something. I remember I was talking to my friends last night about writing and I think someone said that “it’s been written but not by you”. we create our own no matter how we think unoriginal that is 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. omg krishel! i was literally just looking at your feed today and marveling and your portraits, your style, and wondering how you did it! your work is so beautiful. and distinct, really!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This brought tears to my eyes. It’s really weird how the world works. I jjst talked to someone whose art really inspires me and I asked her how she do it, creating wonderful pieces everytime, and she said that she’s not really happy with her works. It’s like everyone is feeling this way nowadays.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. aww krishel! it was just so serendipitous to have stumbled upon your post literally right after i was like omg how does she make these paintings 😮 funny the way things work… but anyhow, please keep on keeping on! you are very, very talented

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Kris! gawa ka nung how you learned watercolor painting haha and lahat tayo dumadaan sa creative rut. ang tagal ko na sa rut na yan di ako makaalis. hahahah

    Liked by 1 person

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