For 2018, I’m aiming to post at least once a month. My blog goals are to inspire, inform and uplift. To get going, I asked you, my Facebook and Instagram followers, what you’d like to hear about. I was bowled over by the response. (Thank you so much!) So, I said to myself … let’s make it easy and fun … why not start out answering three of your questions? It sounded like a plan to me, so here we go.
I was a creative kid. I was always doodling or drawing on a piece of paper, writing stories or running around pretending that I was a horse. I shared an excellent sense of colour with my grandmother. We would spot something that was dusty rose, and immediately be able to tell if it was the same shade of dusty rose that we had seen somewhere else the day before. Oh, and I worshipped Anne of Green Gables. Anne taught me to appreciate beauty, to look on the positive side of life, and to be yourself. In fact, I credit Anne for my general attitude in life and for where I’ve ended up. I even had red hair at one point, but I digress. I loved art in elementary school, but didn’t stand out as being particularly good at it. I even chose art as an elective in high school (because I thought it would be a bird course … and it was.) Again, I did not stand out as a major … or even a minor talent.
Fast forward twenty plus years, to the day I noticed a sign for a watercolor class on the bulletin board at my sons’ elementary school. (I had had a secret stash of watercolours in my closet for a few years, that I hadn’t dared touch.) I started the class in January 2006, totally unaware how that one action was going to change my life. I soon began drawing and painting practically every day, and the darndest thing was that drawing and painting changed me … it opened me up in ways I had no idea were even possible. Within 3 years, I had left my government career to pursue creativity and painting further. Yep, I walked away from a steady and secure income in the Fall of 2008 … right when the economy was tanking … how’s about them apples? And may I say, I have not a single regret about that decision.
Question #2: “Tell us how and why you decided <it was> the right time to leave your government career?”
There were many signs it was time to go, but one I remember in particular, was staring at the provincial government department list on my computer screen one day and realizing there was no department I wanted to work in or job that I really wanted. I thought I was just tired or burnt out, but the truth was that I just no longer loved what I did. If you remember the earlier Anne of Green Gables reference in the previous question, you will understand that I am very much a “do what you love” and “do things with your whole heart” kind of gal ... and so it was inevitable that I would leave. It was a painful, scary and isolating realization at the time, but of course, it turned out to be a huge gift.
It’s really strange how difficult it can be to say that you are an artist. I don’t know why this is exactly. There’s a lot of fear and not feeling good enough wrapped up in that. That subject could be a whole blog post in itself, but I’m not going there today. What stands out for me now is a memory, a day a few years after I had left government when I read that someone I had worked with had gotten a big promotion. For a few moments (okay … it was maybe two hours), I felt a bit jealous. But then the realization came to me that I didn’t need external validation anymore. I didn’t need someone else to grant me a promotion and a title. I could do that myself. So, that day I became Chief Creativity Officer of my then named business, Creativity Matters. So, since then I call myself whatever I want, including Artist and even Professional Artist, because I’m the boss of me ... and because I can.
So, that’s all for now. How did I do? If you have a question that you’d like me to answer in a future blog post, please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Until next time ... remember that art is an adventure!