I was reading the SF Bike Coalition newsletter and started laughing at this interview of a family of bikers. Here is an excerpt from one of the kid bicyclists named Hannah, age 8:
Q: What was it like the first time you rode without training wheels and you didn’t fall down?
Hannah: Well, at first I didn’t want to take the training wheels off, but my dad took them off. He was going to give me a boost but I just took off and I had trouble getting around the corner.
John (Dad): You just took off, didn’t you? I was just putting the wheels in the car and suddenly she was gone!
I was thinking about this in light of being a working artist and totally relating to challenge of getting around the corner. It’s real. It’s happening! My training wheels are off. NOW is the time and i’m going to embrace it. I’m going to really step into it/ step it up yet another level. It’s not like I haven’t been dreaming about this job title my entire life, but it’s crept up on me and all of a sudden it really is my life. I’m no longer a student, no longer figuring out what I want to do with my life, but now the challenge is to balance it all. I feel like in the past I’ve talked about my art and small business casually, like it’s a side gig. An interest. A hobby. When out with friends sometimes I still get shy and pretend it ain’t no big thing. I paint some pictures. Sell some prints on line. Totally disregarding all the hard work I pour into it. The detail. The love. The headaches. The financial woes. The hustle. The self-imposed isolation. The saying no to parties and new dresses and fancy haircuts.
I was on the phone earlier with my mom totally stressed telling her how i was in the middle of packing up my etsy orders, wholesale orders, buying plane tickets to multiple art related events, answering a jillion emails and not getting to a million others and feeling anxious. All good things, but really feeling like this is hard. What happened? Why am i so busy? Where is the grounded me? The dreamer me? The passionately painting me?
My mom on the other end and coast in Maine was whipping up fresh gazpacho and carrying bags of blueberries up from the garden and trying to stay on top of the harvest. Sounds romantic, but I know a bit stressful when you have the pressure to make food out of all that has been harvested in the height of summer. Ahh, how i’d love to be there to reap the rewards of dinner this week.
Well in talking to her, i had the realization that i’m still here. All those parts are intact and all serve me at different times. I’m just gonna ride this wave of action right now. Part of the overwhelm comes in the resistance versus action. This is how it’s gonna be. I’m a working artist, no one said this was easy.
In fact in college back in Minnesota a room full of art professors tried to dissuade the potential art majors from entering the creative field. “It is really hard”, they remarked. They weren’t lying, but I do wish they had been more encouraging.
So beneath all the flurry of activity, i’m still here.
Something shifted. An ounce of trust that it is all happening as it should and it is OK to acknowledge the worry, stress and overwhelm along with the fabulousness of being where I have dreamed to be… making art for my living, even if it’s currently on a shoe string.
I am really so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you everyone who has supported my dreams and has bought art recently from me. I’ll lend someone my training wheels if you’d like, or give you a push if yours are ready to come off too… they really have helped me for many rides!
ps- “Elephant Love” painting above is for the upcoming Enormous Tiny Show opening at Nahcotta Sept 5th!