Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Do what you love, LOVE what you do!

Things that are currently occupying me include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Wrapping up with first quarter grades for the (over) 120 students I teach
  • Set design and effect painting for the school's production of Diary of Anne Frank that premieres next week
  • Teaching/starting a new project based in Cubism with the 2D design courses that will require a solid month of studio/class time (double what we normally do for a project)
  • Repairing signage for the career and college counseling department
  • Designing and creating a display piece for the marching band's annual group portrait and autograph board
  • Curriculum mapping my current courses
  • Curriculum writing for a a visual web design course I got the go-ahead for
  • Solidifying plans to offer a weekly summer session at the school's summer recreational program focused strictly on instructional canvas and easel painting for 7th to 12th graders
And then outside of school? My time is spent like this:
  • Being a wife
  • Being a mom
  • Actively booking, confirming, editing, and delivering photography work
  • Fielding offers for commissioned artwork and soft sculptures and filling orders
  • Blogging on over half a dozen sites for personal, professional, and educational networking purposes

I rarely stop to take stock of the things I'm doing at any given time. This is likely because every time I do, I get overwhelmed by looking at the lists of things that result. (Bear in mind that I probably left off at least 3-4 things from either one of those lists!)  Some people might call what I do being a workaholic but I call it being/keeping busy.

At some point I know I'm going to have to stop going the way I have been going but I don't know when that is and as it stands, I'm also not willing to stand around long enough to ponder when that ought to/will actually happen. In my singleton days I was busy and everybody told me that would stop when/if I got married. When I got married, I was even busier and everyone told me that would stop when/if I had kids. I have a kid now and I'm even busier! I suppose God could see fit to add more kids into the mix for me but I don't know if/when that will happen and (like I said) I'm not standing around contemplating the answer to that.

Screenshot of the Fuel Your Photography site where I am a monthly contributor.

The amazing thing about all of this is there actually was a time in my life when I wasn't able to be a working artist. I started college majoring in studio visual arts (photography to be specific) but my family discouraged me from pursuing it beyond my first semester of college. At their insistence, they encouraged me to pick major  studies that would at least yield a career field that could start as an entry-level administrative support position. I obliged them and went that route while still pursuing freelance visual art work in my own time.

As I continued to work double-time during a time when starting photography businesses were not as common as they are now (2001 was when this was happening), the photography work really took off for me and my family all of a sudden become supportive of me pursuing that whole-heartedly. I continued to do the day-job arrangement but my path ended up crossing with a woman who I now know as my visual art mentor. She recognized my natural gifts and inclinations as well as my resistance to giving into it all completely. She was constantly telling me to GO and DO and "... the money will follow." It's hard to hear that and take it in and start owning it when all of your life you are told that "there's a reason who call themselves artists typically have to add the word starving to their job titles."

I took a major leap of faith to be able to get where I am now and make a living doing what I'm able to do both as an art teacher and a working freelance artist. Over fifteen years of my life have been devoted to me yearning for a life that I never thought was possible and now I'm here! I feel like this is much more the reason why I am constantly busy and constantly pushing my own boundaries of how I can express myself both visually and creatively. All of this is nothing short of an immense blessing to my life. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the fact that I could still be on a career path that has me trapped in an office with no windows and going to long drawn out meetings in skyscraper rooms that only make me want to throttle myself through the plate glass windows that surrounded me. (Seriously. This sounds like melodramatics but it was absolutely like this and I was tasked as "low man on the totem pole" to go to said meetings because everyone else hated them that much too.)

I have no idea where I'm supposed to go next in life and where this is all leading me. I do know that I love where I am right now though. And I do know that the things that I am finally able to do now that I love so much are only preparatory for the things that are coming to me down the line that I will love even that much more. Why? Because I'm continuing to walk in faith that I'm doing exactly as God wants me to and because of my own willing obedience, He will continue to provide ways for me to serve and glorify Him more and more and MORE. Amen to that. AMEN.

As this blog continues to increase upon itself and the readership continues to grow and get more and more hits by people seeking both art education curriculum ideas as well as visual art inspirations, I implore everyone to realize that if I can get to where I am by taking leaps of faith, YOU can too.  And whether or not you are a believer and follower of Christ or not, you still can take leaps of faith to get yourself closer to that life that has only been a pipedream. With every blind bound into the direction of your dreams, you are closer than you once were and more and more the artist that everyone else assumed could only be starving. Art history is absolutely decorated with individuals who went against everybody else's natural brushstrokes and criticisms and its those very individuals that ended up starting entire upheavals, visual revolutions, and major art movements. We all need to do more of what we love and that's the bottom line.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...