I’m sure everyone has been through one of those days where they really just want it to end. For me, that was this entire last week. The stress of work, hours getting cut back, wedding planning, the balancing act of being an artist plus everything else that’s been going on finally broke me some point on Wednesday. After awhile I just didn’t want to be in the art show last night, or frankly, leave the house. I’m fortunate enough though to have such an amazing, loving fiancé who talked me down and reminded me that although these are tough times now it won’t always be that way. Or at least that’s what he’s leading me to believe, and because I love and believe in him so much, I’m going to trust that he’s right. Although I still feel mildly pessimistic right now, I do honestly feel like better things are around the corner.
Part of what got me out of my funk was realizing how I’ve already made it through worse periods than this. If I can survive graduating college while fighting a kidney disease than this stress due to finances and job instability won’t break me. Being an artist might, but maybe that’s just part of the journey.
The Harry Potter art show left me disappointed, but the Dark Arts show last night was much better. Not because I sold anything, I didn’t even make prints, but because there were so many people who appreciated what was in front of them. It reminded me why I do this for a living. I love that experience of seeing people connect with art, even if it’s just because they recognize a character I’ve painted, or enjoy the colors I’ve used.
During the show Sam, my fiancé who you can kinda see in the bottom right corner, and I visited the local tattoo shop, Red Lotus, and had a good conversation about art with one of their artists, Aaron. I’m always reminded when I talk with other artists, that my struggle is not just my own, because tons of other talented and wonderful people are experiencing the same frustrations in trying to sell art.
I’m not planning on giving up anytime soon even if I still wake up and question the decision to be an artist at least twice a week, I love what I do too much. I’ll make it through these growing pains. The important thing is I’ve learned that I’m not willing to sacrifice happiness because some people believe art isn’t a “real job”. Now, it’s all about making my dreams and goals realities no matter what it takes. In the spirit of not giving up I created Project 45, which is another blue heron. The last one I made was at a similar point in my life earlier this year, when I thought there wasn’t anything I could do to change my situation. I was totally wrong. For me, this bird represents not giving up when things are hard, but rather finding a balance in life no matter what, which is why I had it tattooed on my arm as well in September.
So, here’s to the end of a long week, taking deep breaths, figuring out the next steps, doing lots of yoga in the meantime and most importantly, never giving up the things that make you happy.