I’ve started thinking about my summer in LA as like a kind of rehab. The apartment we stayed in had very little in it, it was very calming now that I think about it. Warm all the time. Never had to worry about the weather besides staying hydrated and cool. I worked with a completely new group of people at a professional studio. I showed myself that I could handle working a “real job.” I lived with someone who knows me and cares about and will talk to me if I feel like I really want to go drink or something. It was very peaceful. I feel like I learned a lot about how to take care of myself and get into a routine of not putting things off. Tackle it when it comes. Communicate when you are upset without lashing out. Try to actively remind yourself of your positive qualities even if it feels forced. EAT WELL! SLEEP WELL! Those two are big ones. Give yourself time to rest during the day if you are too tired or upset to work. Don’t force it.
Everything in LA is sprawled out and open. Not at all like the way everything is always humming in NY. The mountains and highways give you a lot of time and room to breathe. The whole thing was a big leap outside my comfort zone. Being forced to present yourself to strangers in a very functional way. Art school has this terrible tradition of glamorizing self harm and untreated mental illness and drug abuse. Working with people in a professional setting wipes all that away. There’s too much work to be done together to let anyone hurt themselves as loudly as you can without repercussion at school. I realized part way through the summer that the work I was making felt very cleansing. Not in a cathartic way so much as just making something that was clean and often served a purpose beyond just “being art.” I think about a lot of pieces I made as little pools of water. Little things to zone out on. I hesitate to use the word pristine because it feels corny but it is probably the most accurate for some of them. Not messy like a lot of my old work. All cleaned up.
AKIRA - アキラ