I’ve once heard that if you want to write something interesting, you must tell it as a story you would like to tell to a friend. Because as I already mentioned on my homepage – why would my post interest you, you don’t even know me πŸ™‚

To present myself a little better, I can tell a few words, but that again wouldn’t sound like a story I’m telling to a friend. So I’ll just start with a story.

When corona lockdown started, I was more frustrated than ever. I was in a point in life where at work it was going smoothly and I finally didn’t really have to worry about my existential crisis πŸ˜€ Nobody who is not from Balkans will understand, I guarantee you πŸ™‚

So I was living in this nice flat, on the sunny side (not of the street, but sunny side of the inside, because it is still Vienna) and my main concert was if my plants would survive the Viennese winds. Also, if you don’t live in Vienna, you probably don’t know Viennese winds and as a friend I am telling you – better not to know. Everything was nice, I was doing home office and cooking things I never cooked before because I was a fitness crazy lady before the lockdown, so I went the opposite. But cooking didn’t do the job. I was still unhappy and it went worse and worse. I felt a phantom limb pain as Austin Kleon calls it in his book. I couldn’t believe how he actually described it properly! I felt exactly like that! It was even getting worse when I saw my boyfriend creating million great things and I was there doing nothing. For years! Do not start judging me here immediately, I am very happy my boyfriend is a creative genius πŸ₯°  (he will read this, genius was a must). But I wasn’t creating anything! Nothing! I was only doing my job. Every day. And living in this beautiful flat where I also worked. Doing my job. That wasn’t something that really really spark joy (thank you Marry Kondo for this!) Again – I like my job very much, I am a working as a graphic designer, but it is not the same. I am even saluting my nice colleagues here if they read. Now I must add this to the story:
in Bosnia in the 90s people would call the radio station and at the end of the call they would like to greet “everyone in the studio and in the back stage”. So with this article I greet all in the studio and in the back stage that work where I work 😁

To come back to the story – I was watching the evil creative genius making his sounds and videos and myself doing nothing.

So one day we talked about this and he wanted to help me, but it was impossible because the crying sissy monster inside of me refused to collaborate with the evil genius of music and videos. So the situation got even worse because I started making things like changing the interior of the flat and trying to get rid of the unnecessary clothes. πŸ˜‚  I mean of course, I know what you’re gonna say: “ooooohh but that is not a bad thingggg! You did something nice for you and that can be creative toooo!”

NO.

It’s fine, it’s a nice thing, but obviously not a phantom creator of pain in my limbs.  So one day my boyfriend came to me and suggested me to draw. He even insisted a little and I felt even more guilty I didn’t want to draw. I was searching for excuses everywhere. But then I started. The results were… not the best, let’s put it like that. I lost my artistic hand, my creative mind, my inspiration that earlier I would get from everywhere. The drawings sucked. But, I continued. And it wasn’t giving me pleasure for some time. I even read Lisa Congdon‘s book “Find your artistic voice”, but still nothing was really helping. The drawings got better. I managed to draw something almost every day and started publishing on Instagram. I stopped caring if it looked good. I just wanted to draw after work. And it started. It started to make my days. I couldn’t wait to finish work to draw something. It wasn’t even important if it was late or if I was tired. That was giving me more energy than a protein bar with peanut butter. And that is my favorite protein bar. Now I remember again I skipped gym. It’s been 3.5 months since I’ve been skipping. We ordered a scale on Amazon. That, for example, I wouldn’t advise. Not even to an enemy or any annoying person I know.

So yeah, the story continues. I don’t have an ending to this because I am still trying to draw every day and it gives me more and more energy. I don’t have any great advice except do the work every day and publish, so you will get better and love it more. That’s a known advice. But I didn’t listen to it. I wasn’t listening to my phantom limb pain for a very long time. So, if you feel the same pain, go visit your pharmacist. Or just start drawing.

Author Tamara

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Tamara Kramer
Vienna, Austria