I don't really have much to report, other than extreme anxiety, self-doubt, and with, a less than stellar attendance of a recent group show, extreme frustration about what I’m doing with my life. I have been at a dead end with my paintings for quite some time; the tattoo thing is over for me. Although I still find it an interesting source of inspiration, it's not working with what I want to say. If I keep going down this path of fetishizing the tattoo, I will have to become a tattoo artist. If I don't become full integrated into the tattoo world, I'm just a fan boy making fan boy art.
Even though I love and respect the medium, it's not where I want to go. After a time, technical painting is just showing off, an exercise in "Look at what I can do with paint," sort of thing. And quite frankly, no one in the contemporary art world is going to take me seriously if all I am is a solid technical painter.
So I have been trying to figure out what I'm supposed to with my work, how I'm supposed to express all the anger and fear I have; but it has been very difficult for me. I don't know how other artists feel, but I constantly compare myself to other artists my age, whether they are close friends like Rogelio Manzo, or Josh Fernandez, or artist I don't know personally know like Kehinde Wiley or Kristin Baker. I often feel like I should be more accomplished, that I should be smart like them, and more importantly, that I should have figured it out by now. In addition to that, and this is something I’m somewhat ashamed to admit because it's such a cliché, stupid reason to be doubtful of one's work and purpose, but a relationship I was involved in, ended in July.
"Really Musser… you’re upset over a girl? Dude it's almost Christmas, didn't you just say you broke up in July?" I know, again I feel stupid for admitting that, it’s something we all go through, but I wasn’t prepared for it at all, both falling for her and the relationship ending. And the holidays only make my loneliness worse. It's yet another year I don't have someone special to attend parties with, or bring to Christmas dinner at my parents house. The reality is, relationships work out or they don't. I know this. But it doesn't make it any easy to deal with. Combine that with my lack of artistic direction; it equals me being a goddamn mess! But recently Rogelio Manzo, look for his interview coming soon, told me “If there is something missing in your work, the only to find out what’s missing is to work through it. It’s in the work itself, you just have to find it.”
So that’s the plan kids. I don’t know where I’m quite going with the work, but I do know that in about 6-12 months that tattoo with be completely gone from my work.
Any artist have doubts about their process and would care to share?