Thursday, May 20, 2010

That Other Thing

Ok, I didn't mean that previous post to sound like some sort of pity party. I most certainly do not regret my choices, but for me, it is easier to be an artist when I can accept that, at the moment, my other career comes first.

I can stop beating myself up over missed opportunity deadlines and stop agonizing about how long it is taking to finish my next art quilt.

There is, after all, a strong tie between my desire to be an artist and my dream of building an environment where artists can come together for learning, encouragement, and community.

When I first got into quilting and art quilts, way back when, I was a workshop-taking-fiend. Yes, I wanted to learn everything I could and find my own path, but also the value of being able to spend 6 hours a day with like-minded people who understood the language I was speaking, who were seeking the same thing that I was, was priceless.

Even though I was not able to take a retreat-type workshop at the time, I could understand the tremendous freedom one would have if they could put aside their daily lives, even if just for a week, to eat, drink, breath, and live in your art and to be around others who were doing the same.

For me, the benefit of the workshop, is not just what you learn from the instructor, but what you learn from your classmates. This is not to say that who you take a workshop from isn't important. It takes an excellent teacher to facilitate and encourage a learning-rich environment such as this and to recognize that everyone can learn from everyone in the class.

I love being an innkeeper and workshop director. I love being around artistic and creative people. So that is my choice and I'm sticking with it! But I'll never give up creating my own art because it is what I am.

That One Thing

Today on the Quiltart list a question was posed - "What is the 1 thing you need to be successful as an artist?"

My first thought was that I needed more time, but that is such a pat answer and doesn't really lead to any kind of solution.

So my second thought was I needed another lifetime. While this answer doesn't offer the struggling artist any solution, what it does do is recognize that sometimes you just have to accept the reality of your choices.

The reality of my choice is that I choose to pursue a business that requires a lot of my time. I'm talking about being the owner/director of the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. I have chosen to put my all into a business that I hope will further the success of other aspiring artists.

I want so much for this business to be a success, that I have recognized that I must put my own art on the back burner, even though there are times I feel the loss acutely. But I am only one person and I've made my choice.

I'll still revel in every moment I get in my studio and still create my art, but I'm not going to worry about being a success as an artist. I don't need that kind of stress!