mikelovehall:

i’m pretty good at staying to myself.It works out for me.

(via thevictoriaa)

nomadsapien asked:
hey toyin, i've been dealing with depression and depersonalization for a while. im also a regular on your blogs and follow them kinda daily lol. how do you feel about depression and how do you deal with it when you encounter it? personally it's become a nuisance to me creatively and it's kinda messing up my career as an artist. i was just curious on your take on it.

rajfrancis:

toyinodutola:

To be honest, nomadsapien, I needed a moment to properly access your question before even beginning to think of how to respond t it. Depression is something I have been thinking about a great deal as of late for a variety of reasons; it is a serious condition—no, disease—that is debilitating and beyond words… I am so sorry you are dealing with this on your own. I have very close friends of mine who suffer from depression and altho’ I cannot even begin to understand nor feel what they have and continue to experience every second of every day, I will try my best to offer some kind of advice. Before I jump in, I just want you to know that I think you are incredibly courageous to be getting on the way you have, feeling like every iota in your body is battling something seemingly abstract but very much palpable, tangible, and I have often been told that art can equally offer solace as it can also bring about more pain. Initially, I wanted to respond in a way that is as direct as possible without including myself and my own experiences, because I don’t want this to be about me. However, I think maybe if I write a little bit about how I felt once when creating art felt useless and, as you a say, “a nuisance,” it may, I hope, help you in some way. 
 
There was a time, not too long ago, when I felt that my work meant nothing, that I was just wasting it in effort, in concept, in everything. Furthermore, I thought the purpose of artmaking entirely selfish. In hindsight, I realize that the problem was not so much perspective as it was belief. I had lost all faith in what I could possibly offer to the world, to anyone—especially in art. Worse yet, I was constantly comparing myself to others, those close and those far, who seemed so much more accomplished, more focused, just better in their daily lives. I started to enclose into myself; the feeling of “what’s the point of it all” permeated everything. I remember one specific moment trying to make a drawing work and struggling with it over and over for hours with cheap materials and a scrap of found paper left over from school and suddenly crying profusely; it was as if I was witnessing in real time my love for drawing and wanting to create canceling themselves out. Two things brought me out of that: 1) Belief, not mine but my family’s and my dearest friends, who supported me and never gave up on me. (I understand that not everyone has this support system and I’m not saying this is the sole cure for what happened, just that it helped me immensely knowing that I wasn’t alone); and 2) I started to believe that the “mark” (not just literally, but metaphorically) I was making was important because it was mine. Let me explain: When I was feeling lost, the idea of making a statement through my work didn’t register. I wasn’t aware that my making something was in and of itself a creative act—and that that was enough. The way we all make a mark in this life, I think, can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but the key is how we define that mark. Art is a very broad thing, a broad act really, and can be interpreted thus. To be able to put yourself into something is always a risk, and we all make mistakes in it and are incredibly self-critical. As it is, we can define what success means to us, for us, what our art means to us, and little by little because no one jumps from one end of the spectrum to another in an instant. Believe me, when I say I still struggle with the works I make, I mean it. I struggle all the time. But if I have learned anything from this lug brain of mine, is that I have to keep trying to keep going—even when I feel I am failing. To lie to myself if necessary. The risk is always there, and so are the mistakes that come with it. To be satisfied comes with the degree, or standard, we set for ourselves. If I keep trying to fulfill something so far beyond me that it damages my sense of fulfillment, especially my sense of self, I take a step back and reassess what I want, what I need. 
 
Again, I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through, but I want you to know that if you are ever feeling alone, do talk to someone—anyone—they do not have to be close, a hotline, but do not feel like you are by yourself in this. Also, there is a book I read at the time that helped me immeasurably, it’s called ART & FEAR and I think it may help whenever you are struggling. I sincerely hope this response was a help in some way and I wish you the best in all that you do. You are so very brave to get up every day and just try, especially to create art, and I think that in and of itself—just the getting up—is a work of art. 
 
All the best,
TO

thank you nomadsapien & toyinodutola. I needed to hear this and I hope others benefit from it in some way as well.

visualideologies:

Remnants, Decay, and Ruth. 

July. 14’

(via rajfrancis)

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