Sunday, June 14, 2015

I Try And Learn From My Mistakes. After Throwing a Small Hissy Fit.

I'd love to say I'm so patient I never get annoyed and can never be seen grumbling at the art I'm making like it's the ART'S fault it's not perfect.

After all these years I am still learning.

Generally I really am a patient person. My favorite job I ever had was repairing and re-stringing pearls when I was in college. I could sit there hunched over all day placing tight little neat knots between each little pearl. It was meditative and delightfully tactile. I loved it for the same reason I love beads and embroidery.

You gotta be at least a little anal retentive to enjoy that, a little OCD-like, right?

Anyway. So. I HAVE MADE PILLOWS. I made some star shaped pillows that aren't really all that exciting but I find them mildly cute. I also made two hand drawn pillows. Those were fun. I learned the hard way (or re-learned) how important it is to allow for a nice seam allowance.

He was supposed to have a seam allowance all the way around, but I was rushing and sort of forgot that part when sewing around his butt. So he's got a white border around his face but not his back end. But it's ok. I still like him.
And here's the next pillow endeavor. It's a fox. Done late at night, late enough for thoughts of seam allowances to fall right out of my head. But I realized at the last minute and just basically gave him no seam allowance, or very little. At least he's even all around.
This possibly may only make sense to me. Why am I babbling about this?
I'll make the next post more interesting. Promise. Maybe I'll video myself drawing something. That's always fun. I know I love to watch other artists draw. It's like seeing inside their thought process. Always cool. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I'm Changing My Life. Or, I Am Officially Nuttier Than I Ever Realized.

I've done it.

I no longer have a normal day job.

Confession: I'm not doing this the way normal, smart people do it. I don't have 6 months salary stowed away in a savings account. I am very much not prepared. Like, not prepared one bit.

But I'm crazy. And it hit me that if I don't try, and if I don't start trying RIGHT NOW, my crazy will get Really Crazy, like Really Really Crazy with a Capital C, and that's just no good.

I turn 40 this month. (Oh, you thought I looked 28? Aren't you sweet. You're now my favorite person.) It's not that 40 is old, it's not. It's young. But it's just that in my life, I'm, oh, right about where I thought I'd be when I was 25.

That means I'm 15 years behind, people.

Don't get me wrong. My life has been one crazy interesting ride and it made me who I am now and I wouldn't change a thing.

But going forward, I need to get serious about being an artist. I NEED to somehow make a living from my art. I can't keep working 40 hours then coming home too tired to do anything except daydream about what I want to create.

Part of the reason I'm telling this to the Internet is because I'm hoping it will give me a sense of obligation, and therefore a sense of urgency that's just simply not there when I don't have a boss to answer to. I'm human.

Another reason I'm sharing this is because I know I'm not the only one out there who feels this way. And if only one person can learn or appreciate hearing about my mistakes, maybe even finding my story helpful, well, I'll feel like I'm giving back.

I'm lucky and blessed to have the artistic ability I do. I don't want to take it for granted any more. It has a purpose, and I don't feel like I've been fulfilling that purpose. As cheesy as this sounds, I feel like I have a responsibility to do things in particular with my gift that I just have not been doing. If nothing else, I'm determined to gain a great deal of momentum, so if I do go back to a normal job, at the very least I will have built the strong bones of where I need to be soon.

I've made mistakes in the past, taken on more than I should, under priced my work, and other not-so-smart things. So I've learned a lot already.

But now my gut is yelling at me that it's time to jump in the deep end. The longer I wait, the more dangerous it might be. I've got a house payment to worry about. I may end up having to go back to a real job. But if that's the case I'm still determined to make this precious time I have count. And darn it, it's going to count a LOT.

I'm running on instincts lately, and I can't help but feel this strong pull towards... well, towards something I can't see yet. I see glimpses. One thing I'm sure of is that I need to focus on multiple projects. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, as that saying goes. And I work better when I have multiple projects. Stumped with a little artist block on this project? No problem, I'll go work on this other project for a while instead.

You know what is especially valuable? Mistakes. I plan on sharing my mistakes along with my successes. I think it's important that artists share their knowledge with one another. I feel obligated to share my knowledge. I crave teaching what I know. Even if I only know a small amount.

So. Come along for the ride. I figure no matter what, it'll be an interesting one.