It’s four a.m. and the first urge to use the restroom wakes me. It’s still dark, peaceful, and silent out. Six a.m. and the second round hits me. I’m fighting to ignore it. My mind begins to have an argument with my bladder now: “Are you serious? You just went!” My bladder sarcastically barks back, “Well you’re the one who thinks it’s a great idea to chug water before bed. So yeah lazy bitch, I gotta go again!” I am simply the driver of a vehicle in this argument, listening to children fight in the back seat. Guess who wins.
The sun is now quietly starting to peek over Mt. Agung and in through my window. The neighbor’s roosters are popping off, waking up their buddies to join in on the noise. As the sun continues to climb higher, the local Balinese school drums and xylophones commence followed by Muslim prayer over the communal intercom for all to appreciate. Privileged is truly the only Americanized word I can use to describe being awakened by these blessings.
However, there are still those damn days that it is the pounding beat of my heart’s anxiety and murmurs of self-judgment that awaken me. “The sun has made it out before you, again! You’re behind on your art projects! You should be doing more!” On other days, it is just straightforward ambition with a more boot camp-like urgency cheering me on. “Today you’re gonna fuck shit up! You’re almost done! Today we get to meet new people and start new work!” Nevertheless, these multiple internal inflections are one and the same and I’ve made the decision to recognize them as my higher conscious shepharding me to my purpose. I miss the mornings, days, or even weeks at a time when they are away. But it’s okay because we all need a mental break sometimes, even if it is from ourselves. Without a doubt, some people may see this as extreme or even incomprehensible. But this is what and how it works for me.
It is part of the human experience and our life’s journey to want to be and do better than our former selves. Being a freelance full time artist is not the easiest profession in the world per say, but it’s definitely the best in my eyes. As an artist, you are creating your own schedule, goals, agendas, marketing, and advertising yourself as a brand all while physically creating and forever educating yourself to evolve your skills. To be a great teacher I need to remain a student, forever learning and accepting of the fact that I don’t nor am I never going to know it all. This all takes mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. Starting off it can feel like trying to dig up mountains with a plastic spoon. For any artist or person to be successful you really have to silence your own hesitation and procrastination, as well as nay the naysayers – even the make-believe ones.
Moral of this story is: Let your ambitions wake you! Do what works for you and focus on your higher purpose! Discover a way to turn that manifested energy into the fuel that feeds your driving force! In turn, let that be the same energy that motivates and triggers you to be the best version of yourself! Perhaps I’m just vain, or perhaps it’s only because the stardust has forged me into a Leo. Perhaps its because I now realize that you will always only have yourself at the beginning and end of every good and bad day and I want to help construct the type of world I want to live in. A world with more genuine creatives are true to themselves… I know life is not always rainbows and lollipops and that’s okay.
So on the way through it, I encourage you sing to yourself in the mirror and dedicate that small verse from Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games”:
It’s you, its you, it’s all for you
Everything I do
I tell you all the time
Heaven is a place on earth with you
Tell me all the things you want to do…
MEET THE AUTHOR
painter – digital illustrator – art model
Liliane Avalos is a contemporary visual artist, an acrylic and watercolor painter, digital illustrator, and fine art model. She was born and raised in Weslaco, Texas, USA central to the Rio Grande Valley and a 10 minute drive to the border of Mexico. In 2012 she earned her BFA, Bachelors in Fine Art with a concentration in Painting at Texas State University of San Marcos.
Her Hispanic cultural heritage has always manifested its way into her work through vibrant color theory, sentimental portraits of family and friends, and an evolving exploration of Hispanic culture symbolism. Her most recent and current works in progress are heavily influenced by the medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality, Memento mori. Merged with the Latin American holiday “Dia de los Muertos”, the Day of the Dead celebrates the lives of the deceased. Through her art she recognizes death as an un fearful natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up. Although the subject matter may be heavy for some the dynamic and energetic colors offer a more optimistic way of “looking on the brighter side”.
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