the art of mindbending

the life of zooey who happens to be Bipolar 2

the art of living

I used to be a visual fiber artist. I say used to be because the interest and drive to create visually has disappeared completely.   I also say that because I felt like a bit of an imposter during that time. I have no training in art…no background in any sort of design. My degrees are in English and Education K-12. An imposter, hiding among other artist in gallery exhibits, ran Fiber guilds and hope_amoebaparticipated in small groups as well as teaching internationally. That ‘faker’ feeling never left me.

My creativity disappeared during a major bout of depression, which lasted almost consistently over 4 years. Prior to that, I lived the majority of my days in a manic state, existing for weeks on 3 hours of sleep a night. This depression fucker wreaked havoc on both personal and creative levels, changing my life in dramatic ways.  After leaving my studio dormant for 4 y ears, I packed up my studio tools, donated all my materials to a local college and stored the remains of what was a passion of teaching and competing/selling artwork in our basement.  The space is now a game room.

Last year, I brought out the sewing machine to quickly make some rice bags for Christmas.  It truly wasn’t a pleasant experience.  Where the fiber under my fingers was a pleasure before, it was just fabric. A task I committed to finish.  I was glad to complete the gifts and store the tools back in the basement.

I’ve also tried to get back into crochet, but my motivation is spotty at best. I’ve given up making myself sit down and work on something, alone or with friends.  Crochet is relegated to long car rides while dear hubby drives.  The limited amount of acquired yarn is stored in a bag somewhere.

Most of my so-called ‘art’ is packed away in a cloth bag in a closet. I do have a few pieces around the house which constantly remind me of what I am not. What I no longer desire or even think I can create.  Most of the time when I look at these pieces, I want to take down and store them, too, or cut up and throw them away. They remind me of a life I no longer live; it saddens me.   Right now the only thing stopping me is the fact that they cover wall ‘stuff’ like marks and such, but if I had something else, the art would be added to the stored items. Another part of me wants to give away this art to friends or send it to Good Will.

Medication, therapy and life changes guided me to the place I am today. The path I travel…the person/personality I’ve become.  This is not to say I am a totally ‘new person’, exactly. There are core parts of who I am which haven’t changed much. But the layers I now carry in my life don’t include visual creativity.  I wonder if this is because it was the only way for me to grasp on to hope? Living? This, I can’t answer.

My favorite quote was, Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment,” a quote from Claude Monet. Will I pick up cloth, needles, beads or thread?  As the days, months and years pass, the ‘artist’ Zooey continues to fade into gray, leaving behind saturated orange, raspberry, deep purple and chartreuse that used to be a daily part of my life.

Perhaps, for good.




6 comments on “the art of living

  1. Jenny Williams
    January 31, 2014

    Hugs and love. And regardless, the one piece you gave Rory is hanging up right behind me in our office. It’s beautiful. I’m sorry you can’t recapture the joy. For me, the desire to craft things definitely comes and goes, for months at a time. Fortunately, it always swings around again. But I’m sure it doesn’t work that way for everyone.


    • zooey
      January 31, 2014

      Aye, very true. Glad you are enjoying the piece. 🙂


  2. Rory
    January 31, 2014

    We very much enjoy the piece. It is front and center when you walk in to our office. It’s one of my most prized possessions. Please remember, even if you don’t feel the same passion as before, that does not mean you aren’t an amazing artist. You need no degree for art, you only need yourself. Your personality and zeal show in your art. You have different outlets now, and that’s just fine. One of the big things that sticks out for me: You have a very different life than you did several years ago. You don’t have to pour your emotions into your art, because you have a loving, devoted husband. You have someone to focus those emotions on, and that is a true and simple blessing. We love you!


    • zooey
      January 31, 2014

      Thanks, Rory. Yet the longer I am away from it, the less real it all seems. Hugs.


  3. Pingback: swiss cheese | the art of mindbending

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This entry was posted on January 31, 2014 by in Art, Bipolar 2, depression, Mood, Quality of Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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