My previous holiday dates from August last year. Before that I didn´t have a holiday for more than twenty years. Last November I had some kind of burnout in combination with a writer’s block, and my better half suggested that maybe it was time for another break.
It´s not evident for artists to break away from their work. Compare it with priests on holidays: they can take a vacation of their parish but can never shed their priesthood. They keep carrying it around wherever they go. They can conceal it, but deep down it´s there: a vocation that is deeply intertwined with their personality and ways to deal with daily life.
While you have priests and artists who will use their holidays to immerse themselves in alternative ways of approaching the cornerstone of their daily occupation, I want nothing of that.
When I´m on holidays, I’m not visiting any museums, expositions, concerts or literary events: that´s work. Still, the artistic mind tends to be a restless one. You tell it that right now you just want to swim into the sea, lay into the sun and sip your margaritas, to make it go nuts with all kinds of wild ideas of new projects and inspiration after weeks of being completely numb. Just like a little child: the surest way to make them climb into a tree, is to forbid it.
Luckily, I discovered painting during the past year. Some among you may argue that this is cheating since it´s an artistical activity, but in truth, for me it´s just a way to relax. It´s an occupation I considered just to be a wayward way to break a writer´s block. Till I got really invested into it during my holidays. Up to the point that my wife sighed: ¨let´s go home, you´re doing nothing else than working again¨.
Why? Because I started to make designs for decors and sketches of scenes that align with a theatre piece I was working at before our departure.
It looks that an artist can´t have any hobby without turning it into work.