It's been a long time coming. I used to think that all I had to say was that I had a degree in Fine Arts, and somehow, this one credential would make me a bonafide fine artist. Over a decade later, I see that Art School did not make me an artist, my experiences, successes and failures have. I've failed many times in my artistic career, but in some ways, I've never failed at all. Over the past decade+, I've been adrift in the sea of life's choices. Having been fortunate enough to have a husband with a steady income, who can support our family, I've been able to dabble in whatever creative expression I choose. I tried being a photographer for awhile, but it never really spoke to me. Then I moved on to jewelry design, which I found isolating. I always painted, illustrated and explored the latest DIY project, but never took anything seriously. In a way, the non-urgency around my career has made me a bit lazy and directionless. I haven't had to push myself, intellectually or creatively, and as such I've fallen victim to artistic atrophy. Until a big move and lifestyle adjustment changed everything!
Recently, our family relocated from the Bay Area of California to small-town Bend, OR. It was a multi-faceted decision, which involved finances, family and lifestyle. We had no idea what sort of transformation would take place nearly immediately after moving. In California, you need to be busy. Busy working, busy raising kids and shuttling them from activity to activity, lest you be outdone by your peers. It's an exciting, but exhausting lifestyle that leaves one with not much time to ponder the direction of their life. But in those rare, quiet moments of contemplation, my husband and I realized that we were simply surviving and though we could easily stay happy in the superficial sense, our growth as creative people was stunted.
Fast-forward a few months, and here I sit, in my own studio space in the Arts District of Bend, Oregon - a serendipitous find we stumbled upon in our first weeks here. I'm surrounded by fellow creatives. I come to work at least three times a week and have endless projects to tackle, shows to prepare for, and inspirations to pursue. My creative fire has been lit by this amazingly ingenuitive community of makers and designers and artists. I just want to sling paint!
So welcome to this new and exciting chapter of my life. I can't guarantee that this is what I'll be doing until the end of my time. But I will tell you that I have found my purpose and I have found direction...and my credential has nothing to do with it.