rejection

i'm picking it up

So my day job has changed... for the worse. I got strong armed by my company into managing a new security account and its quite demanding and just takes all the steam out of me. I haven't made a single new piece of art since starting this new position and that bums me out a lot. 

I know that your "day job" is supposed to be #1 priority but I just can't, I've been trying to be okay with just being my day job since graduating college. I know you are supposed to make a career of your day job and work yourself up but something is literally wrong in my brain and I CANNOT. I don't have it in me, I can't kill off the want/need of having art being my profession.  At my day job my brain is just on a loop of "screw this, this is so stupid, this is ridiculous" and I can already hear some of you saying "oh well just go in with a positive attitude instead of being so negative" well guess what Sally, work sucks all the positive attitude out of me and just chews it up and spits in on the floor. 

I feel like I can't keep wasting positive energy on work, it needs to go toward my art. I have tried to work on art after getting home from work but after the day sucking the life-force out of me I am running on just fumes, and just fumes does not good art make. I need a holiday from work, a very long holiday, and I don't expect I shall return, in fact I mean not to.

I understand it is the world we live in but how is everyone just okay with having 5 soul crushing days and then 2 days recharging where you barely get to do anything else other than chores at home and recharge and finally start to feel like a person again and then its 8pm Sunday night and you are back to square 1. Its messed up. There's nothing I can do to change it which is the worst thing.

I feel like I am trying quite hard to make the transition into full-time artist but still feel years away if not impossible to reach. I know you are not supposed to talk about sales and how you are fairing but I've been doing what your supposed to do and that really hasn't helped me so why not just do what I want to do. Anyways, sales, this year I have sunk in quite a lot of money into booth fees and gallery fees to have my work out in the world to hopefully get some momentum going forward and have seen no return on investment yet. That is a really hard pill to swallow. You often hear people say "the best investment is in yourself" well I have invested a whole lot of time and money into getting my artwork out there and right now its looking like I invested poorly and it's, I'll be honest, heartbreaking.

It feels like the universe keeps screaming at me NO, and I still don't want to listen. Maybe I am looking for too quick of results? I don't know. I still can't shake the goal of doing art full-time. Making art still feels like my purpose, and any day job I've ever held feels like the opposite. I couldn't care less about any but most of all my current day job. It HAS to be just what I am doing for now to get by, it  will never be who I am, I can say that with the most certainty of anything I've ever said. Stupid America with its job focused identities.

Do I wish I could just make art and not have to sell it to be able to live OMG YES. But that's not the world we live in unfortunately. So I just gotta keep trying to learn how to market and sell I guess which are my LEAST favorite things and I hate that its part of an art career because its the least artistic thing I can think of. 

Ok super long blog just complaining about life hahahaha sorry!

trial and error

Well we are coming up on the end of the year here; classic reflection time and member berry season. So in looking back on this year these are my observations.

I'll start with the lows. Arts & crafts shows aren't for me. It's not my crowd. I know that galleries aren't my crowd either though. I don't know where my crowd exists. I don't know where to go with my art. I don't know how to sell my art. I have been trying to share and sell my art for going on 5 years but more of a real effort this past year. 

A long time ago I was told that it is selfish to hold onto my art and that is meant to owned by people other than myself. I have hit many walls trying to pursue art as my fulltime career, and my kneejerk reaction to failure is to think "omg, this isn't worth it, obviously it wasn't meant to be, there is no room for my art in the world" That negative funk lingers for a while but always fades away and those words said to me take its place.

it's selfish to hold onto my art, it is meant to be owned by others

I don't know if this is even true. It could have just been nice words to placate me. Yet, I can't shake them. It has become absolute true concrete fact for me somehow. My artwork is meant to be owned by others, it belongs to people, it doesn't belong locked in my storage unit or the shelves of my closet. My art belongs in the world. So knowing that fact means I need to figure out how to do this, and this figuring out how business is the bane of my existence. 

Ok some of the highs. I made more artwork this year than any year prior, and by a lot, at least tripple my normal output for a year. I completed my first ever outdoor mural that was 14ft long, so also my largest artwork to date. I had more requested artwork this year than any year beforehand. I started the year with 10 followers online [all family/friend relations] and as of this morning have 50+ followers online, not thats anything really in the scheme of online but hey 5 times as many as I started out with.

On a more personal note, my family and friends have more supportive than ever this year in my endeavor of pursuing my art career. They are the best part of this journey and I don't know where I would be without them. 

So I will wrap up this member berries blog post with the most recent / probably last finished painting I will do this year. 

turned out more fall like than intended, also a little more bob ross like than intended lol

turned out more fall like than intended, also a little more bob ross like than intended lol

Fall somehow crept into this painting but I am ok with it. Overall I like this painting. I wish I could have captured a little more vastness, this seems a little close feeling for me. The lodgepole pine on the left is meh, only because I had no reference photo for it, I clearly need to go get some more reference photos in person is the answer! *wink* I also would like to work on blending but spoiler alert, that is a goal for next year as I step into the world of... oil painting.

Original oil paintings coming 2017, lets see how awesome or how awful it is.

ain't got no suitcase

So I got the rejection email from the artist in residency program I applied to. Schwang-wang-waaaang...

Honestly I wasn't expecting to be accepted because, keepin' it real, I'm not totally ready, I don't really have a voice yet and my skill is decent but not excellent yet, and I know I need to make a larger cataloug and yada yada yada. The thing is ugggg that takes so much tiiiiime. I would love to do it everyday, but my god, how do people have the spare time to work at it daily or weekly? I honestly only have time to drag out all the art stuff once a month at most. I really think people underestimate how much time and work it takes to hold a fulltime job and work at your passion, when they say stuff like "follow your bliss." 

I also am regrettably a glass half full kind of person deep down. I know I had no chance really for this residency I know I need more development I know there are a lot more people than me that probably deserve it more and are more talented, I know all this but deep down there is a seed of "what if?..." I can't decide if I love my seed of wistful hope or hate it. The thought of "what if?" is motivational and detrimental at the same time. Hope is motivational; rejection can be debilitating. 

Do I feel debilitated by this rejection? No. However, this is my I don't know 1000th something rejection, so they just don't pack a punch quite like they used to. Of course, I mean I am a little disapointed because anytime you put yourself out there and get shot down without any critique or feedback its frustrating because you don't know where you need to focus your efforts to grow. [and a little sad I offically won't be going to Montana anytime this year now]

I think rejection is fundamental for artist growth, or personal growth for that matter. You need to be ripped down raw in order to not only toughen up your skin but to learn what it is to be raw. Raw you is real you, and real you is the you that needs to be the person you are putting out there. [if you can make any sense of that lol] Not only because learning to be your authentic self is important but because when you are always raw rejection starts to hurt less and less. I know a couple artists that were lucky enough to achieve some success right after college and have been working in their medium all of their adult career. This may be some deep seeded jealousy talking but it's my honest opinion that artists [or people] who are granted early success and faced no battles to acheive said success have their work suffer for it. Their work become stagnant and they don't improve upon their skills because they have never been challenged. Now it can be argued they don't need to improve because they have already been granted success, but I think that fights against what it means to be an artist or person.

As Captain Picard said "Inside you is the potential to make yourself better, and that's what it is to be human. To make yourself more than you are."

I also feel like I know that the rejections I've faced are leading up to my destined... non-rejection?... Or acceptance, as I've heard its rumored to be called. I know that I will definitely appreciate my non-rejection more now than I would have say 6 years ago. It will a gift when it happens and not a given.