So, remember The Real World? On MTV? I'm not talking about nowadays, where it's full of, um, sexually focused early-20-somethings who look like they just stepped out of a modeling shoot and could really use a sandwich. I'm talking about the early years of The Real World. You know, when the people were... real. And they had that convenient little room where everyone could go and talk to a camera, spill their guts, free their mind: the confessional. I always loved the idea of the confessional, as I think a lot of artists do. For some artists, their work itself is their confessional. They can depict in-your-face pieces that practically scream the point that's trying to be made. Or, they can create a cryptic type of message that only they understand, and that art every art critic who analyzes their work will read a different way. Or perhaps they have art journals. Sketchbooks. Diaries. Places that they can really spill anything, everything, or nothing. And not have to worry about anyone seeing... ever.
I feel like my 40 Works in 40 Days project has been my confessional since I started it. My way on channeling my constant and relentless angst/doubt/worry about whatever the hell it is that I'm doing. I quit a job that had a comfortable salary, one that not only paid my bills but allowed me to have a decent-sized cushion to go out, have dinner, buy drinks, live life. I left that in order to pursue an art career that is still in its infancy with no guaranteed income whatsoever. I did it because it just felt right. It felt like something I was meant to do and I have never been one to question instinct, especially not when it's this strong.
Then last week, well, I fell off the wagon. After day 18, I just kind of stopped. Not because I was out of ideas or because I didn't feel like creating anything; in fact I believe the new prints I added to my Etsy shop over these past few days is as many as four? I can't explain it, but since my reasoning and feelings behind this project were all about perseverance and believing in your dreams, the fact that I was doubting mine created an instantaneous brick wall that stood between day 18 and day 19.... then just didn't budge.
And at first I felt guilty and like a quitter, but now I'm seeing this as just another bump in the road. I guarantee that if you interview any successful artist, their story will have pitfalls. Pitfalls that deserve to be recognized, learned from, and moved on from. If this stuff, going out on a limb and trying to live your dream, was easy then everyone would do it. So cliche, but so true. And not that I wouldn't appreciate the outcome of living my dream if the path in fact was easy, but the fact that it's been so damn hard will make that end results even more amazing.
Uhhh so yes I am being melodramatic. Fully aware. I think I've done more thinking in the past couple months than I have in the past couple years. In any case, I'm picking myself up and dusting off and I'm going to keep going. I'm going to create 40 works in 40 days, they just won't be consecutive! Tomorrow will be day 19. I am going to make some art, then drive home to my parents' house. At some point, I am going to tell them I quit my job to pursue an art career, which they will not be happy about. But it's time to face the music and come clean. This is my dream and I'm not going to be ashamed of it. Then I'm going to eat a lot of amazing food because my mother is arguably the best cook on the face of this planet. Don't even get me started on her gravy; it's to die for. Hopefully she is not too mad at me to let me help her make it like I usually do. Then I'm going to come back to my apartment and my studio and Friday is going to be day 20 and I'm going forward. Where the second half of this will take me? I honestly have no clue. Here's what I know:
1) I am participating in my very first arts festival on December 1; I have my own booth and am SO EXCITED. I even got one of those Squared credit card readers. The thought of mingling with other artists/members of the handmade movement?? Amazing.
2) I'm still looking for a bartending/serving job because the one I got called me Friday saying they overhired and did not need me anyone (example 342342342 of what caused my mental breakdown this past week). But things happen for a reason, and that reason will be revealed at some point.
3) On Sunday I'm meeting the kids of an awesome couple looking for a twice a week nanny. They have three boys, all under the age of three! I worked at a preschool during and after college, so the thought of potentially helping this family makes me crazy happy.
4) I am scared to death to tell my parents about quitting my job. No matter how independent and self-sufficient you are (I'm both to the extreme), you still want your parents to be proud of you. I just want them to understand that I'm trying to do something great.
5) I know that I appreciate the encouragement and support of the people I have met through Blogger, Etsy, Flickr, Instagram, and Facebook more than words could ever say. It makes me get all emotional to talk about it in depth, so just know that I appreciate you. It's an electric feeling that just cannot be described, aside from powerful and surreal. I'm just some crazy 29 year old from Ohio who has some crazy big dreams and an impulsive and intuitive nature... yet there are people who I have never met in person who support me. I'm smiling and shaking my head right now just thinking about it. Thank you.
6) I know it must be close to Thanksgiving because I'm more melodramatic than usual! Hope everyone has a beautiful Thanksgiving, please be safe if you are battling the Black Friday crowds (I will be doing so with a girl I used to babysit when her mom did Black Friday!!), and remember to be thankful for every silly little thing that you can possibly think of :)