hundertwasser quote. typed out on a french receipt that i found in an antique dictionary
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how'd you get to where you are today?
confession: up until very recently, i honestly didn't really think too long about things such as plans or goals when it came to my art career. really. i never sat down, wrote out my business plan and checked things off my list. yes, there were times i made important choices, but i usually just followed my intuition and did what i thought was right for me at the time. i probably shouldn't admit to this, but it's the truth, and since this is the first of my whole behind the scenes thing, i thought i'd best start off with the truth.
so, in fact, this is not where i planned to be, because it wasn't planned (!), yet i'm so happy with how i got here. somewhere along the line, i threw out the compass and followed my own path.
my art has always been that thing that i did, that thing i couldn't stop doing, but it was never, until the past year or so, that thing that i analyzed, over-thought, or planned about. yes, i would sell my work and make money, which was sort of the icing on the cake, or the cherry on the sundae, or whatever the saying is, for me, it was just extra. it was the making and the doing that mattered most. i just painted. i applied to shows (with slides!!), day to day, month to month and slowly but surely more and more opportunities would come my way. i didn't do anything "special", i just went to my studio, and painted. when i wasn't painting, i poked around, sought out inspiration, scribbled in my sketchbooks, cut up books, tacked things up on the wall, made messes and made my art. but here's the thing, i did this, and have been doing this, for over 10 years now. without thinking about the all-important what/when/how/who, i would just paint, day after day, for hours on end. hours and hours in the spent in my studio. i'd forget to eat, i'd play joanie mitchell's blue album over and over, i'd work on 6 paintings all at once, and then when i'd get tired, i'd step back and smile at what i'd accomplished. first thing the next day, i'd return to do it all over again. in my studio, i didn't have internet, i didn't even a computer until a few years ago (gasp!), and of course, for more than half of those past 10 years i didn't even know what a blog was. but, i did have my studio. that was the constant. my studio, a rented space outside of my home, was my haven. i had everything i needed to make art, and make a lot of it. at first, i did have a mentor who encouraged me to sell my art. she taught me the business side of being an artist. and let me tell you, when i had my first show back in may of 2000 and sold almost every piece, i knew that there was something to this whole thing of being an Artist. from there, i knew i could do what i loved and make a living at it as some point in the future. there was no turning back. but, as i look back now, i wonder if that's the point when i should have written a plan, the map for how to do it. instead, i was much more interested in cutting up maps, living in the moment, and not worrying about what would come next.
over those years, i had a variety of other jobs to pay the bills. i was part-owner of a couple of different galleries. i helped jury shows for the galleries and learned what other jurors might be looking for in my own work. i worked in a museum, i worked as an art framer. those jobs were extremely helpful when it came to my own work. i nannied and worked in galleries by day and painted by night. i painted by day and waited tables at night.
whatever worked, that's what i did. but i always made room for painting. it was what came first, even if i wasn't making any money from it. that didn't matter to me, i just needed to paint. as i look back now, i think that i probably should have thought more about the how of it all, how i would make a living selling my art, but instead, i took every oppourtunity that came my way and plunged blissfully ahead.
today, it seems that all the pieces of the puzzle ended up fitting together to make a whole, but at the time, there were doubt-filled days when i just didn't know how i was going to make it.
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perhaps that's where i'll stop for today, there's so much more to the story, and that will come on a future wednesday. (yes, it will really be wednesday)
i wonder if you have any more questions for me? if so, leave them in the comments and i'll be sure to respond.
ps: you may have noticed that i'm just running a day behind this week! i'll be back on track next week for sure :)