• Kenzi

Quarantine Project: Day 6

Aaand just one day after making a point to talk about this new posting schedule, I've already slipped up. I think that the key to making this project work as I originally intended is going to be giving myself the right amount of leeway. Too much structure when it comes to creative work has always made it easy for me to get stuck and start feeling uninspired.


I used to get down on myself for thinking that way. I'd feel guilty for not having the same kind of work ethic as my peers and people I looked up to. More recently, I've realized how damaging and counterproductive this sort of thinking can be. I've had to start telling myself that nobody else is me, so by that logic nobody else's approach will quite work for me and my brain. The key isn't taking an approach that works best for others, but finding an individualized approach that fits your own mindset and lifestyle.


A huge help for me in finding my own routine has been journaling. It allows me to get out all the buzzing thoughts in my head and really dissect where they come from, and how they affect my productivity. Check out last week's post to read more about my approach and access some of the specific prompts I've been using. And now, day six!

Like my previous painting, this was done with acrylic paint and Artist's Loft brushes on an 8x10 canvas. I'm far from an artist, but I do like to find ways to insert a little meaning into the chaos I come up with. In this case, I went with a more abstract take on a self-portrait. The uneven brows and nose are really the only physical traits that could be considered representative of myself; the rest is based on a more internal/emotional representation.


For me, this painting speaks to the person I was just before moving to LA. I wanted the big, blue eyes to symbolize naivety and a head-in-the-clouds mentality. The cutout kind of look came from the idea of being torn away from one place and dropped into another; suddenly, things don't quite fit together like they used to. Still, the girl's eyes are open wide and meant to be seen as hopeful. I wanted to give the impression of fearlessness and welcoming the unknown, despite lingering feelings of uncertainty.


Considering I moved here just two weeks before quarantine began, my time in LA certainly hasn't been what I expected. But that doesn't change the optimism and determination I strive to keep close at hand. Even in the face of all this destruction, I still believe that someday (hopefully soon), moving out here will allow me to create something amazing. I trust that if I stay the course and keep my dreams in mind, the rest will come soon enough.


That's why I want to stress the importance of keeping faith in yourself, even during times as dark as these. When you study or work in a creative field, a lot of people will try to sway you from your dreams. Some of them may even make a pretty sound argument. You have to remember that none of those people are you, and none of them have the ability to make your life happen. When the doubt starts to creep in, trust that if you're committed, if you persevere and put yourself out there, those dreams will start to feel a little bit closer each day.

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   © 2020 by Kenzi Vaughan