I figured it was probably best to start doing a regular blog posts on my website. Why? Mostly it's cathartic, but I think it's also necessary to be able to allow people to get to know me. So I am going to start from the beginning of my adventure. As some of you may know, I left my job in finance last December to pursue a career in the fine arts. No, I am not crazy... well, I've never been tested, but I am pretty sure. At least 87% sure. Anyway, I thought that it might be enjoyable for my customers, friends, followers, and family to read about my journey from bored number cruncher to modern day Da Vinci (I may be slightly over exaggerating my skills, just a tad). The purpose is to share insights, tips, tricks, and express my opinions on all things related to being an artist.
Let me start off by saying that no matter how much you have in savings there is just no way to ever be okay with the amount of money you spend when you get in to the arts. People always joke about being a “starving artist.” It's not because what we produce sells for so little, it's because the materials it takes to produce something worth selling are so damn expensive. For example, a small tube of high quality oil paint can set you back anywhere from $15-$50 a piece, and if you're a photographer a somewhat decent lens starts at about a grand. When you add it all up, before even purchasing a canvas on which to paint, you can drop nearly $600 on just paint and brushes alone! In the end though, the quality of materials you purchase make or break your's and your customer's experience with your art so it's worth spending the extra money.
For me, I don't have just one medium that I specialize in; I paint, draw, build, photograph, sculpt, and design. These mediums can be expensive to get in to on their own but, when combined, oh dear gods help me. Luckily, I had a decent inventory of supplies I've built up over the years before I made the transition. However, because my mediums weren't anything but hobbies before, I didn't have all of the major tools I needed to do the work regularly and on a professional level. Over the past few months I have spent more money on startup costs than anything I did last year... for fun. We're talking enough to purchase a slightly used sedan. A new lens here, a table saw there, lumber, filters, pens, paper, and that's just materials to make my pieces, that doesn't include application fees for fairs, travel expenses, printing fees, booth space fees, etc. I could go on with all the details but you don't want to read that and I would like to eventually see the light of day so I encourage you to google it if you want to know more.
So why do it? Why make the jump in to debt and craziness? One reason: Peace. Peace of mind, body, and soul. For 26 years I have pushed aside doing the things that I love most in the world in favor of helping others achieve their goals or adhering to their expectations of what a fulfilled life and “real job” should be. It's taken 26 years to gain the confidence and the pride in my own abilities to chase after something I want. It's funny how life works; sometimes it hands you things right out of the gate, sometimes it takes years for it to throw you a bone. What I've learned is that it is okay to be okay with waiting. I don't mean giving up and setting your goals or desires aside, I mean go for your dreams and goals. When it's not your time to shine, be okay with waiting so that when it is your time, you shine like the light from a thousand suns. A little mushy and poetic, but you get my point.
It's a whole new world for me (*music from Aladdin plays in the background,*) but I am finally brave enough to lift my feet off from the ground and jump in to the water below.
Before I end this blog post, I want to say thank you. Thank you to you the reader for visiting my website; thank you to my friends and family for your love and support; and thank you to a new community for welcoming and encouraging me. I hope you enjoy following along on my journey. Here's to never forgetting who we are and never letting our talents go to waste.