This week as I have been working on getting a new set of paintings done. I was thinking about what motivates me to do this. It made me reflect on the fact that I have been investing so much time into trying to be successful at my art. It dawned on me what it was. When I stopped working to get ready for having my kid I spent a good deal of time depressed. I would literally spend the whole day in the apartment watching television, and accomplishing next to nothing. I have spent my entire life working. My parents own their own business and when I was a kid I worked for them, and learned to understand the value of being a productive member of society. I worked through all of college, and even during high school. I really didn't know how to function without a job, since it had been so long since I had had that kind of freedom.
Then it came to me. Sadly it didn't dawn on me till after I had the kid, but it came to me none the less. I had gotten a degree in art, and I had a ton of creative ideas floating around in my head. What I lacked was the confidence to do anything with it. I didn't know that I could make a job out of the things I like to do. When I worked for my parents I hated it. Honestly, I think that is how it is for most kids working for their parents. When I worked during college, and even after, I was doing things that I was good at, but not really something I truly cared about. I would get bored, and not really want to excel at it. But I realized that I had this degree, and I could actually make art.
I know that I am not famous, or even that great of an artist. (Though I am working on that.) What I do know is that the more I do this, the more capable I become, and more likely that I will create something that people will appreciate. After school I that thought that, because I wasn't automatically great at art that it was something that I really couldn't pursue as a career. The thing is that through most of history, before colleges, and before organized schooling people learned through apprenticeship, and actually practicing their craft to become good at it. I cannot get better if I don't produce, and in the mean time I can get my name out there, and maybe get some recognition along the way. The more I work at it the better I will get. I wasn't born knowing how to ride a bike. I will not be a success over night. I will have some hit a miss along the way, but the more I do it the more hit I will have, and the less miss I will make.
I just have to make it important. I cannot just give up, because I am afraid of failure. If I never get back on the bike, because the first time I sat on it I fell. Then I will never learn to ride. I cannot say to myself, "Yes I could have been a great bike rider if I had, had the time." If it is so important, than make the time instead of living in a world of regret. I have learned from those months of inactivity, that I cannot pass up a chance to do something, and get better at it, because if I do then I will be stuck on that couch forever, and end this life with only regrets instead of memories.