"Vocation is Where Your Deep Joy Meets the World's Deep Need."
This quote from Oprah, made many years ago, has long been my mantra. It has guided me to make career choices that were intimidating in scope and demand. Each has become a foundation block on which the next choice was laid.
It’s been very nearly 12 months now since I ‘got serious’ about my development as an artist.(30 months since I first dabbled at painting.) This week two of my paintings were accepted to a local all-media juried art show.
Immediately I needed to design business cards with a brief artist statement. I found the experience surprisingly ‘focusing’. Crafting a message that communicated my media, subjects, passion, and status in such a compact space brought me to a laser focus on the artist I WANT to be. It also sharpened my expectations for my blog and my painting efforts.
I am pleased with what I accomplished this year:
- Joined two artists groups and volunteered to help with a group art show,
- Attended a 3-day pastel workshop, studied artist DVD’s, and solicited a professional critique
- Attended several art shows and a couple museums
- Changed to sanded paper, purchased more pastels, tried new techniques
- Subscribed to and consumed several blogs and magazines for artists, art business, and artist websites,
- Studied everything I could find about painting in pastels and otherwise,
- Learned how to use Photoshop and Illustrator,
- Hunted for photo ops and possible painting subjects,
- Tracked my painting and ‘art related’ hours (which average 15-20 hours a week above my day job)
- Submitted my work to a local juried show and got accepted
- I didn’t paint nearly enough
- I STILL struggle to settle on a subject, interpretation, and style.
- My dithering has made for inconsistent quality in the little production time I had
- I don’t have enough good work to make a website feasible, which leaves me with only a blog to put on the business card.
I suppose these disappointments are a good thing, they show me what needs to improve over the next year.
And so concludes year one of the pursuit of my vocation.