Today I'm taking a breather from offering any heavy content and I'm just going to write about something meaningful to me.
I wish that more artists would write honestly about their artistic journeys. There often seems to be a sense of guarding information in a lot of art communities. I understand the competitiveness in some scenarios. However I think that sharing information, being transparent about the struggles, and talking openly about a career doesn’t make it any less successful.
There is so much posturing in the art world (behave in a way that is intended to impress or mislead).
Perhaps in part, it comes from a desire to validate artistry as a career in a very commercial driven world. I get that. But there is so much we can learn from each other, so much value and growth to be found when we share our journeys. The REAL journeys.
As far back as I can remember, I've tried to live as modestly and honestly as possible. I think a lot of people can say the same, because it is generally a good way to live.
I've always been highly self-aware, and in being so, I scrutinize every minor thought and emotion that passes through me. If it doesn't carry me down a path of remaining humble, I reject it. In retrospect I can see how this has shaped my life and relationships. I tend to be very submissive, striving to help others find happiness. As an introvert, I've always preferred observation rather than interaction. This lifestyle is very conducive to introspection and reflection.
Even as I write this, I feel a sense of pretentiousness for talking about myself. It’s not a good feeling. But I have a purpose. I started this blog to force myself to write, and better express myself. Even if one person reading this blog feels inspired, I’ll feel successful.
Throughout my life, I’ve always sought out successful, inspiring, humble people who I could learn from. In 2008 I was lucky enough to meet a woman who has, over the years, become my life “mentor.” We met when I took her class in college (she was my teacher). After graduating, she became my boss. Over the years we developed a close bond and I can always turn to her for guidance. We live VERY different lives, but at our cores we are very similar. We are like family.
(She is actually the person who first sparked my interest in visiting Scotland! Her and her husband have visited Scotland annually for over 20 years, and she would often share images and stories of her travels with me. Now, I call it home.)
I also do what a lot of people do, and “follow” dozens of talented artists online, watching their work progress over the years, watching how they interact with others, watching and learning silently.
The internet has opened up a world of possibilities to artists and we have the ability to connect in new ways. You don’t have to know your mentor in real life. They don’t even have to know you exist. But finding someone who you look up to, who has life experience, who shares your principles, and whose vision you can get behind - that is priceless.
We can drift through life, going it alone, learning from our mistakes, and I still do that to an extent. However, it’s reassuring to know I can talk to my mentor about big life decisions and I won’t be judged or led astray. Often times she merely holds up a mirror with her words and I’m forced to realize I already know the right decision.
I know I’m a very emotional being, and my emotions often influence my decisions. I have a heightened sense of my instincts, and I always follow them. Sometimes it’s great, and sometimes it leads me down a very difficult path, on which I face many trials and character tests. Those the are times I grow the most.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I crave transparency, honesty and truth about the journey we call life.
If you’re interested in reading honest truth from artists, here are some amazing resources I’ve found over the years:
The End Starts Here, blog by Rodney Smith (world renowned Fine Art Photographer) http://rodneysmith.com/blog/
In the Company of Women, by Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge http://www.designsponge.com/book
How I Became an Artist by Noah Bradley https://medium.com/@noahbradley/how-i-became-an-artist-4390c6b6656c#.xl8ozi6a7
Daily blog by James Gurney, world renowned artist, author and illustrator of Dinotopia, Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist, and Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter. http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.co.uk/
Heather Day's Journal (Contemporary Abstract Artist) http://heatherday.com/
If you have any resources you find especially inspiring, about the true artistic journey, please share in the comments below or message me! I would LOVE to see them!!