Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dreams and Sacrifice, an unfinished painting...

Well it’s 4:00 in the morning and I’m not sleeping, I have been lying here for the last hour, just thinking, not sleeping.  My brain wont shut down long enough for me to get some rest.  I’ve a lot on my mine as of late regarding dreams and sacrifice, and when to say uncle.
It’s been a year to the week since I decided to follow my dream of being an Artist. 
I have to admit it’s been an amazing time in my life.  A time of expression and freedom, but of sacrifice as well.
When I walked, or should I say ran away from the confines of the nine to five, I knew I would be trading some privileges for others.  
My lack of income was one of the hardest factors to factor in my new life style. 
I could no longer afford the luxury of excess, which meant my car had to go, so I let it go. 
There would be no more whimsy purchases like cute cowboy boots, or that amazing jacket
 that I just have to have. 
I’ve learned there is no such thing as "have to have"
 unless it’s more paints.
I traded my luxuries for my dreams. 
In this last year I have met the most amazing group of people, 
I have become a member of a tribe, a tribe of dreamers and creators.
I guess that’s why I’m not sleeping; I don’t want to give this all up, 
but I feel like I’m at another crossroads. 
I’ve given this “full time artist thing” a year of my life, as well as a year of my family’s life. 
And let me tell you my family has been great, they are my biggest fans.
But hard cold reality is that dreams don’t pay the bills; food, heat, and power are not luxuries.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not destitute by any means, although things have gotten tight over the winter.   This time of the year is always slow in my husbands business, but as spring approaches, we have always been able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. 
I guess this one-year mark has hit me pretty hard.  I don’t know what I expected to happen when I started on this journey.  I guess I just thought I’d be further along at this point.
I’ve had such great success in selling my art when I’ve been able to get my work out there in an Art Festival setting.  But the reality of that is that these festivals are not free and it seems I’m only making enough money to pay for supplies and the next festival.
I had hoped to have some kind of a licensing deal by now, and even though I have sent out over fifty art submissions, I’ve only received rejections so far. 
Maybe I need to send out a hundred more?

When I started this journey it was not about the money, it was about how my art made me feel and how it touched others, that’s one thing I will never sacrifice, not for any amount of luxury.
I guess at this point I need to readjust, revaluate, revisit the reasons why I started on this journey in the first place.
I guess right now I just feel like an unfinished painting,
 just waiting for the creator to finish.



Loretta said...

I suppose we have all come to these crossroads in our lives at one point. I am no exception. You have weighed the pros and cons, so now you must make the hard decisions. I always say, "Follow your Heart" It now all boils down to you dear Debbie. Wishing you well in whatever decision you make. Hugs, Loretta

wanda miller said...

BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL post debbie. i know that you speak to just about everyone's heart...artist or not. it does come down to YOUR decisions and options. but it is always easier and more wonderful when your family is behind you, (ya' gotta have some sort of cheering section goin' on)! your new life starts are such good ones, while you listen for the lessons and the path you should take. and your new wip is delightfully mysterious as to how you'll finish...oh the options, eh? xo

Creatively yours Fi said...

I can understand your feelings right now. I'm working on a casual basis which frees up some Art time but not enough to pursue to my hearts desires. I admire your decision to give up the 9 - 5. I love your work !! have you thought about offering classes. That maybe another avenue to make money? Bills have to be paid unfortunately. Maybe also talk to others about how they secured Licensing deals? b(I'm not sure what that is...forgive my ignorance)I like Loretta's advice "Follow your Heart" x

rkbsnana said...

I do wish you luck whatever you decide. Times are hard all over. I love your blog and you do it so would think there'd be money to be made with it. Take care of Debbie.

Diana said...

Hi Debbie,
I understand that feeling. I too, wanted to go somewhere with my art. When I had a job I wanted to do art full time. I haven't done it. I lay awake at night feeling like a failure.
You have sent art out. You have been published. Please give yourself credit. Even if you have to go back to the 9-5 please don't give up on your art. Keep creating. Please keep blogging too. I love your blog and your paintings. Just keep growing. Keep us posted on what you decide.



Clare said...

Hi Debbie - wow there really is a lot on your mind at the moment. I remember being in the same place as you are in. I had a successful art biz but then trends changed and my girls grow and needed more stuff, it took a lot of soul searching, but eventually I had to look at other alternatives. But that in itself was an adventure - I went and did caring work in the UK, taught high school for a year, and then began my present job. AND - rediscovered my art passion and started all over again, designing, planning, making and the effort has paid off. I will still have to work for a little while longer, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not too sure how things work in the US but I have lots of ideas of how to market art that I could share with you. We could see what might work in the US - I'm soooo excited with what I have discovered over the last few months and would love to share with you. (you can email me at

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