It's ironic that I never considered myself an artist. I've always been a writer first, and an artist only as a means of creating covers for the imaginary novels I would one day see published.
After nearly ten years of practicing and improving my writing craft and getting a few stories here and there published and a few (later rejected) screenplays into the hands of people with the power to at least READ them, I was suddenly presented with the technology that allowed every cave-man with a 4th grade literacy level to bang their fists on a keyboard for two hours and press a button on Amazon to call themselves "published".
It was a farce. It was a slap in the face to every writer that had spent hours every day in cramped home offices perfecting their craft in the hope of one day passing the gate-keepers; this knowledge that suddenly every illiterate hobo could dilute the literary zeitgeist with their grade school pablum on a whim. No training, no suffering, no grammar, no problem.
So I walked away. From writing. From art. From everything. And I stayed away for a very long time. When I finally returned; when I finally realized that the problem with self-publishing wasn't them it was ME, was the day I realized that I had been looking for any cheap excuse for my own failures as a writer.
I returned. A little at a time to be sure. A paragraph here. Editing an old unfinished short story there. I returned in the knowledge that writing was a muscle that needed to be exercised in order to retain it's form. I had atrophied. I had withered to a husk of only the most basic similes and most simplistic of sentences. I still knew HOW to write. I could rattle off rules of story structure. I could speak at length about the Hero’s Journey, the three-act-structure and the denouement. But I no longer had the vocabulary to make those things anything more than theoretical constructs. I no longer had the words to put them on the page.
Digital Art became my escape. Expressions from a mind that could no longer form compelling sentences. Once merely cover images of stories that I would tell, the images had BECOME the stories alone; no words to back them up.
Which brings us to here. Which brings us to now.
Do I still write? I try to some days. It’s not something that I stress about too terribly anymore. I have my art. I have my outlets. I tell myself that I was a writer once-upon-a-time and leave it at that. I still refuse self-publishing, and I’ve lost the skills necessary to pass the gate-keepers, so writing seems like a waste of time at the moment when I already have other vectors to express myself adequately. But life has a way of coming around every few years and I’m sure it’s not the last time I’ll pick up a pen.
For now I’m here, participating in a possibly ego-crushing experiment attempting to jump start my creativity. Throwing my own now rusty pablum into the void for better or for worse and seeing what comes of it.