The Impossible Garden
& The Wildforest
ART & STORIES BY MARICHIT GARCIA
The past week has been an upheaval. This week I am open to negotiations but with the highest caution.
I had to deal with all the ugly emotions and all the ugly thoughts. I had to be clear which was true and which was assumption. I cannot move forward without clarity of some kind. Yes I only have to see the next twenty feet and not the whole road but I want to see what I can with open eyes and an unobstructed view. At the very least, the obstructions I encounter should not come from me, I hope.
So here's what's been happening so far. No distractions and whining from the art because its claim to the hours has been revoked. Well, there was whining but a couple of sleepless nights bombarded by the nightmare forms of daily adult duties was enough to shut the whining down. I sleep a little bit better now, with the righteous feeling that I did what I could for the day and that I made a sacrifice. Surely now I have gained a better bargaining stance with the universe?
I have been shaping how I want this dayjob thing to be. There are still a lot of old bad habits to break. New rules to make. I figured that while I am going to give more of myself into the chunky-money-making, it doesn't have to mean giving myself all away like I used to. For example, an eight-hour work day need not apply. Nor a five-day work week. I do not have to be "on call" all the time, and I do not have to jump up at every email or text message. I do not have to cater to the assumptions of clients and clients-to-be. I must be clear with my work values and assert them. This is the only way I can sustain being on dayjob-mode for a significant amount of time for, well, four days a week (five days if there is an ongoing paid project, if absolutely necessary). I am no longer my old working self from six years ago. The hardware and the software of who I am have drastically changed. There is no possibility of doing the old things in the old way (or even new things in the old way) and still remain sane.
The dayjob page (page has been deleted as of early 2017) is proving to be good way to "balance" and work out things. While I won't be able to post about projects and clients I can use the page to discuss processes and philosophies. It also offers me a venue to observe myself as I work and to enhance (or correct) habits where I can. I believe the page has also served to "calm" the inherent rebellion and resentment in the whole endeavour. It is a space to vent (creatively) and to express the opinions that I did not realise I have always longed to express about work and the work culture I find myself in.
On the other hand there is still the art page, currently limited to sharing the art and inspiration of others, and to promoting shop items. While the dayjob page was finding its groove, the art page was made to take a step back. Now that the dayjob page is getting the hang of things, the question now becomes: is there a way for the art page to become more of itself without overtaking or overshadowing the dayjob page?
I guess the bigger question is: can there be a way to allow the art something to do that is of making and not of borrowing (notice that I have been borrowing most of my images lately, and I haven't been on Instagram much for a while)?
Then the other questions follow: How do I make sure I do not become distracted from the dayjob in any way whatsoever? How do I control the flood of ideas and desire and imagination and wanting, the wild lush twining vines that grow overnight from a single seed? Is it a matter of setting days? Or hours? Or a specific space where it can only be done? That could work, but it could not be the studio, but somewhere more "limited" or contained, with limited materials, Or perhaps, a particular size of paper that anything bigger is not allowed -- to contain, to set boundaries. Yes, those last two sound better than simply setting minutes or hours that one can easily cheat on.
But will it work? Can it be sustained? Or would it be better in the long run to stick to a strict dayjob mode until my life is way past the red line?
I have to consider this very, very carefully.