Sunday, August 9, 2015
Here's to new beginnings...
After close to two decades of doing art on the side, I recently decided to take the plunge and focus on doing it full time. Yes, it's true... I quit my day job.
To be honest, I'd been thinking about doing this for about a year. Not the kind of wistful thinking that comes with daydreaming, but the kind of serious consideration required when asking critical questions: "Can I do this? If so, what do I need to do now to make this happen?" If you imagine that these are scary questions to consider, you are right, although I have to say that the feelings of fear were much stronger a year ago than they have been in recent weeks. With the exception of one late-night anxiety session about three days before I turned in my work keys, I've been calm and confident of my decision; there has been no backpedaling.
That being said, I've put a lot of pressure on myself: pressure to perform, pressure to deliver results, pressure to maintain constant levels of creativity... and these are all hard things. In response, I'm trying to take things one day at a time, forgive myself when the inner critic starts to bully, and stay focused on the reasons why I decided to make such a huge career switch. With time, things will fall into place. In fact, they are already falling into place. I've had so much to do to get started that I find myself wondering how on earth I was able to do both art and the day job for so long. Obviously, I wasn't as invested in my art even a few years ago as I am now, which means I'd reached a turning point recently; this is another way of saying that I wasn't ready to do this even a year ago! Timing is everything.
Now that I find myself on the other side of my big question, I am having feelings and thoughts that I couldn't have anticipated, which is I'm sure true of any big change or new life adventure, and I'm trying to adjust and calibrate. At the same time, I'm aggressively pursuing new leads, and so things are very busy. In the "adjust and calibrate" column are things like: figuring out my work schedule, ensuring I leave the house each day and interact with people, and creating my first true inventory of materials and artworks. In the "aggressively pursuing new leads" category are things such as: creating an art Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/LadydeanArt, if you want to like it), booking a flurry of new shows, submitting some of my tiny tulips to a juried show, and planning my materials purchases a little more carefully. I also sold five paintings in July, which is a good start. After all, I am running a small business here...
This photo is of a tiny tulip painting that I did a few weeks ago and sold right away. It's called Tiny Tulips & Berries I, and I'm working on two more in different sizes. Keep an eye out for future posts about these paintings!