Feeling really weird. Had a hilarious night with my friends, laughed so much that my throat is sore, but today I’ve felt really low. This morning was great, sitting in the sun, after receiving my letter from Uni inviting me to show my portfolio in 8 weeks, but then as the day has gone on I’ve felt progressively worse. I was so thrilled to get the letter but ever since I’ve been panicking about money and how I will support myself during the course. I am getting so stressed and depressed about looking for work that I can’t relax long enough to be creative at all. I have no doubt in my mind that Art is what I want to do but I’m suddenly viewing it as really indulgent. I feel as though I should be working up a career ladder instead. Perhaps that’s just so drummed into us. It’s something so intrinsically just there in the forefront on my mind. I have to let go of these thoughts long enough to really think about what art I want to do and what I want to focus on, but all I can think about is being 30 when I finish and no closer to getting decent money. I have been speaking to friends all day about this and they have been giving me advice, about how it would be better to do this for 3 years than work in a job I hated for 3 years, how life is too short, how we could die tomorrow and not have ever done what we wanted,  and another one said that they worry about the same things too but that if all you think about is what you are going to do with the course at the end of it, or set yourself set plans now, then you will not focus on the individual art that you are doing at the time and not become as great as you could be, because you wont be giving it your 100% concentration. The tutors on the course talked about how, despite it being obviously necessary to pay the bills and get by, this course should be viewed as a step away from all of that to as great a degree as you possibly can, and to spend the time focussing on your own mind, and your own artwork and to develop as an artist within your own right and if all you are thinking about is how to use this to get a specific job at the end then you will not develop as well as you could and should and would and … have run out…. Arrrrrrrgh, I know all this makes perfect sense but today, for example, it was so sunny and lovely and I should’ve spent it outside painting and taking photographs, but instead I faffed around on job sites for most of it, looking at what sort of arts administration I could do with the degree, totally going against all advice whatsoever, and gaining nothing. Not only could I have spent that time painting, but I could’ve used it to write some research material which I need for my portfolio. Instead I was thinking so far ahead that I did nothing productive whatsoever. I really need to learn to relax. I really need this course. It will slow me down. That’s what I love about painting. It forces you to slow right down to the very moment that you are in, and nothing more. I find that it’s one of the the only times that I can relax fully and not be thinking further ahead than that piece of work and that’s something I need to carry into my actual life too. I need this course on a personal level. I need it to open up the creative side of me, and to get me to let go, and to just be. Not to plan every second but just to get more absorbed in the every day moments. I have spoken to some people recently who have made the decision to exist and be happy instead of work their way up an office job and be miserable but richer. I suppose I have only ever experienced that type of happy existing in Italy when it was a set 1 year away from set progressions. I will have to view this course like this as well, otherwise I wont make the most of it at all. My week away will help me to do nothing but paint and make the most of every day there. I will start a job anywhere, even just in a pub, when I get back. I have to stop thinking of taking a shitty job as a step backwards, because it’s not. It’s funding my giant leap forwards. Hmmmm, what a long rambling mess. Just standard hangover blues and sugar deficiency I expect. Anyway, this is a little oil pastel sketch of some stuff in front of me right now that I drew to switch my brain off from thinking a pile of nonsence. I used it to start practicing some line exploration, and using just 3 or 4 colours, in readiness of the exhibition at the Tate at St Ives that I’m going to view next week, of Ben Nicholson’s work.

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