Artists Make Art: Personal Stories - January 2016

©2015 Trudy | Drift Sojourn

©2015 Trudy | Drift Sojourn

I will share a post like this each month to mention some of what I worked on during the month. I launched this new space in December to bring together all of my creative, intellectual and emotional labor for my three core projects and spaces; Gradient Lair, Drift Sojourn and Cinemacked. While I closed Gradient Lair last October, it is still accessed and/or referenced daily all over the world. I previously mentioned that I am creating subject-specific digital anthologies of Gradient Lair where each will focus on a particular topic that I wrote about in great detail during the 3.5 years that the space was active; it is well over 1,000 essays and other long-form pieces there.

In January I created:

Normally, I would have shared this post for January in January as it is already February. However, I had a major life change (a good one) in January. I moved. People who know me well know that I have been through so much in the last few years dealing with abuse online, in public space and in private space. There has been little relief for me for so long and the cost has been paid in the worsening of my mental health. However, I fought through certain personal, emotional, financial and structural barriers that prevented me from moving before and now having a peaceful and colourful home to live and creative space to do my work has been such a gift beyond anything that I can describe. I moved, unpacked, organized, shopped, decorated and settled in a 10 day span from my move date in January, although the move itself was years in the making. While I will not escape all forms of abuse solely from moving, this has taken a burden off of my back nonetheless.

I have to be honest though; I always experience apprehension when sharing my art. Not because people may hate it. That is fine. Not because if it is for sale people may not buy it. It is their choice. Instead, it is mainly because of the trolling and abuse that I face for the sheer act of creating art as a Black woman that is hypervisible online. This is something that I discussed in detail in Dealing With Disrespect For My Time and Creative Process As An Artist and in I Do Not Like The Ways That Most People Use Twitter. Trauma is not so easily forgotten or healed, so at times I still feel the pain and have difficulty concentrating on my creative work. Clearly nothing "heals" actual long term mental health issues nor should I or anyone who deals with them be stigmatized for this. But one thing that I do know is that I love my art and as I wrote before, art saves me. In those moments—of creating some art—I am reminded that my mind does not only exist to process pain nor my heart only exist to be broken.

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