“The Secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
— Mark Twain
So….here’s me jumping off a cliff. I am a visual artist, age 51, with a loving husband (also an artist) and “many” cats, working a cool full-time job, and working (very hard at the moment) at living an art full life. In my perfect Art Full World, I would be spending some time every day making art, making our home an extension of our creativity and/or inspiration for art, building a solid base of people who like and enjoy my work, selling it (galleries, shops, online), and living every day to its fullest (and let’s add eat right, exercise, and weigh 10 pounds less). I’m working on getting there, and some of that world is in better shape than other parts. But it’s all difficult, as Life tends to be, mostly because I get in my own way.
It took me a long time to realize I need to be creative and make art. It’s me, it’s what I do well (after years of work), and it’s what I enjoy the most, what I get lost in. I have been making art (that I can actually show people) for a little over 10 years now. I was doing 2-3 group shows a year in local galleries for most of those years until the end of 2012. That fall I did a fairly intense large piece for a show, and then that was it. I hit some sort of wall and stopped. I was majorly stuck. In almost two years, I think I started one piece. Barely.
From my 50th birthday in 2014 until now, there have been some Life Moments that have compelled me to get my act together, get off my butt, make art, and put myself out into the world. There were many tiny, small, and medium-sized moments that have added up, and a couple very large, impactful ones. Among the large ones, I have had a couple people in my life, near my age, pass away from cancer. One being my brother-in-law. The time from diagnosis to his death was 10 weeks. His death just put things in such clear perspective. You really don’t know how long you have. All those grand plans, dreams, and ideas………nowhere but your in your head, never to be experienced or shared. I received this cumulative, major get off your ass message, and it somehow got through and meant something real.
You Can’t Do That!
Being an introvert and one with tendencies towards social phobia and anxiety of the panic attack variety, one wouldn’t think this is the right path for me. My Fearful Self would have to agree, but after the turning point I had to move towards the Scary Things. God knows why, but the idea for a blog has been poking at the edges of my brain for many months now, and the Universe keeps putting things in my peripheral vision (and some times right in my face) to push me towards this leap. I’ve learned over the years that you need to listen to those repeating tugs at your thoughts, and more importantly trust your instincts. So, after much self-doubt, overwhelming fear, and picking at my nails with worry…here we are.
Waiting for the Right Moment
I kept thinking I’ll create the website and blog when:
- I have a consistent and “big enough” body of new art work (you need to look professional and be a real artist!)
- I can research more about blogging (what’s the best way? what are the rules?)
- I can figure out the best way to approach Social Media (learn all the ins and outs so you don’t make a fool of yourself!)
- I have more time to devote to it (I have a full time job! I’m too tired! Let’s watch TV…)
- I know what the f**k I’m doing (insert all self doubts here)
Well, I don’t have time to wait. I may not have tomorrow let alone 5 years to do research and make art. I can’t care what people think (too much), or what the “right” way is, and as far as time, I can make the time for what matters.
So…I actually think now that I’ve jumped, the ride might actually be fun. I am committing wholeheartedly to this Art/Life making thing.