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May 2nd, 2020 - 02:18 PM
I have struggled for 20 years to understand what my place in the art world is and what voice I have.
I always thought that my art had to be about some cause in the world, some deep-seated, inner turmoil. I thought I had to develop a style that looks like another artist style. An impressionist, surrealist, realist - which one am I to follow and master? All of these styles seem to creep into my work in some way. Even when I had a brick and mortar store, and successfully thaught art.
However, about three years ago things changed. I had a career as an Interior Designer, loved the job, but was not happy. Art became a hobby and my studio stood empty for days on end. That's when I realized I had to really take the time to think about where I want to go and what I want to do.
I realized I wanted to be a full-time artist. I want to be in my studio for hours on end and create. I want to share my knowledge with students. I want to show my work to the world. I want to do good with my work.
I WANTED TO:
Create art that makes me happy and other happy. I wanted capture the beauty of the world. I will only create for certain causes if commissioned to do so and, even then, I will have to feel passion for that cause. I realized I want to learn from other artists and apply what I learned. I finally understood that there are no rules that cannot be broken. I could take conventional ways of doing things and find a different way to do them.
I DID NOT WANT TO:
Create my style to be like another artist. I did not want to focus on the negative in life but only show the positive. Avoid learning more about the business of selling art.
Once I re-focused myself and figured all the above out, I felt like a different person; however, it was still a long haul.
All of those art books on how to become an artist were taken of the shelve, dusted off, and read. I watched all sorts of YouTube videos on other artists and their styles, and I was hooked on PleinAir painting. The studio was revamped and loaded with positive energy.
First obstacle, no gallery wanted to represent me. I really struggled. I send loads of applications out. Some came back with long waiting lists other did not answer. In the meantime, I kept on painting and improving. Four hours on a daily basis in my studio and I painted and explored and I loved it!
One day, my daughter came home from work - she is a victim advocate at the local YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) and we talked. After a long conversation, I realized that I want to do something to help. The only way I can do that is through my art.
I approached the YWCA and offered to do several paintings (inserted above Title: United we stand number 11 of 11). They loved the idea and they loved the work I did. This was a huge confidence booster for me. I realized I don't have to do things the conventional way, I don't have to have a gallery showing my work. I can do this myself.
I started thinking about doing my own one-nigh exhibition, what the purpose of this exhibition would be and who I would want to attend this exhibition. What would the ultimate goal be? Then I started working on paintings, drawings, venues, invitations. Everything was lined up, then COVID-19 hit us (obstacle #2). The exhibition was cancelled. Luckily the venue worked with me and I was able to move it out to August 2020. Hopefully I can have it then. By then, I will have a whole new collection to show, which is a fun thought.
Initially this did bring me down a bit, but in the end, I realized that there is a reason for things to happen. Who knows, I might only really find out when it happens.
The most important thing is that I realized I need a change. I finally made peace with the fact that I might not be completely be like any other artist, but I am different in my own way. I have built enough confidence to realize that I don't have to do things the conventional way.