What was my wakeup call? I was not going anywhere in my career. Actually, I had no goals to even have any direction.
What about you? For instance, do you create art to give it away to family and friends? Do you love making art and want to share what you do. That is a noble deed and you should continue to bless others that way.
Our art has great value because it represents who we are and what we have to say. Art is a silent conversation we have with others.
The fact is that I had a lot of momentum at the beginning of my career. For instance, by earning a degree in Fine Arts and I have been in this art game for over 50 years. I have participated in my share of art festivals, have been in group art exhibits and I even had a solo show in a barn gallery in Sugar Loaf, Orange County, New York. At the same time, I also was teaching art in two public schools, which left the summers for me do art. So, what happened to me?
The game changer was beginning our family. I was young; I had abounding energy and drive so I successfully managed this juggling act for years. In fact, I hired my neighbor to baby sit one day a week so that I could study painting with John Gould, Sr., at his Bethlehem Art Gallery. John was a retired Pratt Institute of Art Instructor. Furthermore, I taught painting in my home studio while my kiddos were in Preschool. It was a joyous time and a growing time..
Have you noticed that life evolves?
Accordingly, this means that changes are coming and it will take readjusting of a lifestyle. My momentous change was a move fifteen hundred miles away, where I no longer had an art support group. I was teaching art full time so it took a while for me to discover our local art societies and artist groups.
Eventually I became implanted in two very strong watercolor societies and concentrated on getting accepted into juried shows. Juried shows are very competitive and an artist is not always admitted to exhibit because they have not reached the standard that is required. I was accepted and rejected! However, I found it a great growing experience.
To grow, we have to move, reach beyond our grasp and take risks.
As a result, this is the time where I learned how to make good art. I studied what the judges looked for in accepted art and I constantly reevaluated my work. Also, I was part of a critique group where we honestly analyzed and commented on each others work. As a result of my being active in art, my career grew. I was invited to publish some of my paintings in 3 art books. I was very honored and encouraged plus it consequently helped to define me as a ‘real’ artist and a good art teacher.
Always make an effort to stay focused.
So, how did I get here in a pasture named Complacency? I lost my focus. I forgot my goals. I was like a horse happily grazing in the sun and lazily laying back. If a horse does not stay active, its muscles become soft and weak and it looses strength. It takes a greater effort to gain it back! I was like that horse when it came to my art career. I list momentum and have to work harder to get back up.
Double effort but Small Gains.
I looked at the five bulging art portfolios stored in my studio and discovered over fifty paintings from my career that went nowhere. However, motivation comes in mysterious ways. My daughter threatened that it would all end up in a dumpster after I died. This was all the threat I needed!
I knew I needed help with career counseling and enrolled in a course called Art Biz.
Consequently, this is where I am now, in my growth. I am learning about business; something they never taught is art college. Besides, the world is different from when I started. Everything is digital. Hence, it is like I am back in school learning how to walk. I decided I want pursue internet sales with my art. I am learning about social media and how to get images of my work ‘out there”.
I am very excited and hopeful. My secondary goal, besides selling my art, is to make it count for humanity. I want my success to help poor and suffering children get the medical help they need through Mercy Ship. I want to help build wells in third world countries so water is clean to drink. All this, while people enjoy my work by putting my it in their homes. What joy it is to go beyond my natural reach and try to change the lives of so many more by the outcome of my efforts..