Monday, March 19, 2007

The Adventure Begins

Well, I did it. I jumped off the cliff. I gave notice at my job last week. I decided that I'm not going to wait for the right time to start being a full time artist - I'm just going to be a full time artist.
I keep trying to rationalize it (to myself) and justify it (for everyone else), but it comes down to believing that I can do it. I'm already doing a lot of the work that needs to be done, I just need to continue and even step it up.
What's on the horizon:
-Expanding my workshops - continuing the encaustic workshops (possibly adding a 2-day version) and adding bookmaking workshops
-Raising my workshop prices (I haven't been charging enough)
-New studio space - and when I move I will possibly offer even more classes - drawing and painting for adults and children. Maybe even gallery/retail space
-Some sort of craft endeavor with Etsy or my potential retail space - possibly selling my collage boxes, handmade books, etc
-Possibly teaching as an adjunct at one of the area universities
-Volunteer activities - for my local art league and other groups
-Waxy Buildup show with Trayc Claybrook - we're sending out proposals, looking for a venue for our two-woman show
-maybe even turn this blog into a book
So I feel like I definitely have lots of things in the works!
I also have an idea for a whole new series of work and I want to start making books again and I want to start doing some acrylic painting again... I'm so energized and excited that I just can't wait to get started on everything!
Thank you to everyone who has left such great comments. Thanks to Mary for the encouraging email - I love how you called your life as a working artist an adventure - the inspiration for the title of this post.
I will keep you posted!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Goals and Visualization

Vizualizing my work in a museum... (make your own at dumpr)

For the last few months, I've really been thinking about my goals. I'm trying to figure out exactly what I want and how I'm going to get it.

I recently finished a great little book, This Year I Will... by M.J. Ryan. It's short and very easy to read. It's sort of a motivational book to help you first figure out what your goals are and then find the best strategies to accomplish them.
That lead me to The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. I think Alyson Stanfield mentioned it on her blog and I happened to see it in the library and grabbed it... And it's rocking my world. It's basically the same kind of book, but much longer and much more detailed.
And then, at the same time, I reconnected with Trayc Claybrook, who had recently seen The Secret, which features Jack Canfield... She also mentioned Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain, which I had read or listened to on tape a gazillion years ago...
None of this stuff is new, and much of it is common sense and so simple, but it's amazing how easy it is to get trapped in bad habits and negative thoughts. I took a bunch of classes through Landmark a few years ago (which were awesome), but I felt like I'd sort of slipped back into my old ways of thinking. All these books have helped me get re-focused.
OK, so all that to say that I've refined and re-energized my goals. I had been working on a 5-year plan - I would work for the security and benefits but continue to create and market my artwork in my spare time. Eventually, in a few years, I would be making enough money as an artist that I could quit the day job when the time was right.
But after reading and doing this work, I've realized that the time will never be right. I've just got to do it. But it's very scary. If it were just me, I don't think I'd be as scared, but I have a little human depending on me, so that makes a huge difference.
I have a short-term goal to move my studio to the town that I'm in (the studio is currently about 15 minutes away in another town). I'm looking for space now. This will allow me to be there more often and expand my workshops and classes. And maybe even have a gallery and shop.
I'm very excited about my plans (and scared). I'm trusting that I'll figure it out along the way.