Since things in the world began to hibernate, my life hasn’t really changed dramatically. I’m a pretty introverted, roll-with-the-flow, chill-at-home, type of gal when it comes to what I like to do in my free time. (Aka: I’m reallllly boring–though, I’m definitely never bored.)
About nine months into the great hibernation though, ya know right as winter in MN hit, and I HAD to spend actual time indoors–I found that I was actually getting a little restless, and even a little lonely. The thing I started missing most though? Art.
I realized that I actually missed lazily meandering though the art museums with a good friend–thinking, and talking, deeply about everything from life, to aliens, to history. (All with heads cocked to the side, intently trying to figure out a piece of art work, of course. 😉 )
I realized I missed awkwardly talking to folks I don’t know at gallery openings, and shows. (Ya know–the ones I always swear I hate, and am done going to?)
I realized I missed ‘kids get in free’ days, and all the chaos that came with them. I missed planning the day, and then the wine I would inevitably treat myself to after the day was done. (I treat myself to wine often–those were the times I felt like the meme mom, complete with crazy hair, no bra, sweats, a tv remote and the couch. It seemed much more ‘deserved’ that way.)
I missed always being up on the next exhibit at the MIA, or the Walker. I missed getting emails from my favorite local places talking about the next community exhibit. I missed having the CHOICE not to go to these things–instead of just not having them. (Introversion, and anxiety, wins almost every time, folks.)
I actually missed PLANNING art events within my job, community, and church. I always thought I despised the planning process. I fly through it as quickly, and thoroughly, as possible just to move on to the next steps. Turns out, maybe I actually flew through it because I kind of enjoy it, and I’m pretty good at it? Also, this was a mind-blowing realization for me. 😉 If I was my own therapist, I’d owe me shit ton of money for all the overtime I put in.
So, I moped about it for a few days. I whined, and felt sorry for myself (as I pictured a Little House on the Prairie type winter, which wouldn’t even allow me to leave the house–ya know, because the door was snowed shut). It was rough in my head there for a bit. And then, one night, I just kind of came back to life, or rebooted, or had an epiphany, or something like that? Idk. It was epic though.
It literally hit me… WAIT! I MAKE ART! I DO ART THINGS!
Immediately, I realized I wasn’t nearly as sad about missing all of the art THINGS, as I was sad about the loss of making my OWN art. This wasn’t a pandemic problem, it was a me problem. I realized that since I picked my camera up for work–I had put it down for my art. It had been nearly a decade since I was regularly shooting for fun. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my jobs. I have creative freedom, PLUS, I get paid for it (most of the time)–it’s just that my hobby became work. Work became my creative outlet, and my hobby just kind of morphed into that. And! It all happened right before my eyes, without me even realizing.
I decided to fix this situation. I mean, what better time than as I’m snowed in, with wolves circling my tiny wooden house, AND another blizzard on the way? (Again. It was the Ingall’s house I pictured there.) This was like a breakthrough moment as my Covid-19 scope, once again, helped me both magnify AND focus in on the real issues. My way to fix all of this wasn’t exactly rocket science or anything. It was just find inspiration and to make some art.
I went to the most reliable-ish model I had, the one who could stay up late with me thinking about the theme, the one who didn’t get paid, and the one who could get the job done right–and I told her we’re doing it. We’re jumping back in to the self portrait group I used to enjoy. (Also, obvs, the model is me. I mean, I’m not saying I’m like a MODEL model or anything…I’m just sayin’ I’m all I got right now.)
I also submitted some work to a local art gallery for a gallery show–but, I’ll come back to that later. It’s a Spring-themed show and I’m read to come out of my own hibernation–so, it seemed fitting.
For now though–here is week one of my self-portraiture project. The theme was ‘distorted’. I take one shot of me to meet the big theme, and then two supporting shots to meet MY theme. I’m currently five weeks in and really loving it. My anxiety-ridden, insomnia-fueled, middle-of-the-night, disaster brain, has been totally quelled by my now creatively-inspired, late night, individual work flow sessions. (See what I did there? That was a total rebrand of insomnia. 🙂 )
Anyway, here’s my work from week one. If you’d like to stay current, you can always follow me on IG too, @m.peifer.freeman
The final trio, and how I prefer them be displayed: (This self-portrait shot is a bit different than the original one. I didn’t LOVE the original for a couple technical reasons–but, had already posted it so I kept it.)