In 2006, I was gaining traction on my art career and selling work at festivals. I had taken that first step in 2003 (more on that another time) and after a lifetime of not focusing on art as a real business and the pressure of trying to change the world if I did, the dream of being a working artists was taking shape and it was exciting!
Our son was born that fall and my time in the studio came to a screeching halt as I happily immersed myself in the wonder of those first few months of his life. Six months later, still soaking up every new day with him, I found the artist part of me itching to be in the studio like a kid who rolled in the poison oak patch (or ivy – take your pick!). Once I finally got started, I knew what it felt like to create and I wanted more!
Working in encaustic at the time and there was no way I would expose him to the potential fumes just to create, so I started a blog, Artist + Mom. Then I created another one, then another for my artist friends… then another… until I finally freaked out and shut down two of them. The other two go down this month. Posting became infrequent, a year passing between them, grinding to a halt (surprisingly, I still had a trickling of followers and commenter’s whom I truly appreciate). I felt ready to shut everything down and throw in the towel and had a pile of reasons that would back me up.
My story is no different than so many others. Through searching other blogs, reading, conversations with other artists I realized that there was a common thread – EVERYONE was scared, uncertain, loaded with doubt, overwhelmed – and at one time or another, felt like giving up. And funny, right when I’m wrestling with all of this, the topic is everywhere!
So I came to the question – what is different about those who keep going and those who don’t? Besides simply not giving up which is the big thing, there was something more. The extra difference I found for me is giving.
Giving art, encouragement, inspiration, expertise anything to continue to support, encourage and connect with artists – artists whether fearful of beginning or ready to quit, doesn’t matter. The key is simply beginning, taking a step, moving and finding a creative rhythm and keeping active – creating sharing, changing the world with the slightest movement. The giving is what keeps us from the not giving up. I am renewing my commitment to myself and to you who have read this far. I will do my best to be disciplined in sharing my art and sharing my knowledge and resources to help you succeed.
I’d better end this post or I’ll be grabbing a tissue! But before I lighten up too much, I leave you with this quote by Jim Rohn:
We must all suffer one of two things:
The pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment
By not choosing… you decide. Which will you chose? And why?