Saturday, 24 January 2009

Artistic Journey, final

In case you missed the beginning, this story begins here. Part 2 here. And part 3 is here.

I have had a really difficult time with the final of this story, which is of course my story. I have made several failed starts. I find that the closer events are in time, the more difficult it is to write about them. 

What has finally pushed me over the edge into writing the ending is Connie. Sweet Connie and her beautiful comments.

I am concerned that she won't like the final chapter.

I did finally leave the studio and set out into the larger art world. 
The last four years venturing outside the studio has been huge for me. I do not have practiced social skills. I am quite introverted and can be awkward in group situations. I don't understand the networking thing.

But I have loved getting to know other artists. I have been lucky in connecting with a few people who believe in my art. I have learned heaps. About myself, about the art world and about art. My art has improved several fold (isolation wasn't good for my growth as an artist.)

Success as an artist is much much harder than I ever would have imagined. I don't want to go into all the ins and outs of the last four years. I don't feel that I have enough wisdom or detachment to tell you what it all means. 

When I was young, my father wanted me to get an education so that I would have "something to fall back on". For many many years I judged him for that. I don't anymore. Now I think he was right.

Our culture does not value art or artists. I am not complaining, it is just how it is. 
I believe that art and creativity are vital to an individual's and even more to our culture's well being and spiritual health. Which is one of the reasons I am now teaching creativity.

I think being a full time artist is more of a vocation, like being a nun, than a career. If you want even a remotely comfortable living it might not be for you. If you can do anything else as a job and be happy, it might be a good idea. You will probably need a second job anyway.

But in spite of the small chance that I will ever be successful in the world's eyes, I am still oddly happy that I am an artist. Even if I never can make enough to live on from my art, I am strangely happy that I am too stuck in my ways now to be practical and have a "real job". I am willing to do other work to support making my art.

How can I possibly express the deep love and gratitude I feel every day that I can be creating? How can I convey how deeply I am fulfilled by this vocation? How much I believe in what I am doing? How right it feels?

And I am very happy to now share the wonder of being creative with other people. I love teaching creativity, and it takes away the pressure of trying to make a living from selling my art.

I am coming up to my third solo show, opening Feb 13th. If you want to know more go here. My website has more pictures. Click on the oil paintings.


Connie said...

Zom, I don't get it...what am I suppose to be disappointed about? Teaching creativity and making art sounds like a fulfilling life to me. We spend too much time focusing on what success looks like--then really reflecting on what success feels like. To me--your gorgeous paintings, your beautiful blog, and your inspiring journey is success to me. Plus socially inept or not--you are f-in hilarious!!! That's what gets me by in my day-to-day life--or I'd be simply outcasted myself!

Zom, I'm so glad you shared your journey---and hope you keep sharing.

Peace & Love.

Anonymous said...

I agree, nothing to be disappointed about anywhere in sight! But I know what you mean about making a living as an artist of any kind - it's 10 times harder this side of the planet. My creativity has always been something that comes from my soul and feeds my soul, but I don't claim to be an artist nor did I have the nerve you had to purse this.
Good for you!

nollyposh said...

YeY! DeeDee is O.U.T!!! X;-)
You have an artists soul no matter what you do... and what you do do with your artists heart <3 is absolutely A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!
*Cheering* and making whistling noises X:-) vicki x
(Ps) ~You inspire me~ and make me laugh... Thankyou x

Ariana said...

This is a beautiful story and I'm so glad you shared it!

Karin said...

Hi Zom, I've really enjoyed the journey you've shared with us, and the way you've done it. I think you've expressed yourself beautifully - perhaps in part because I can relate to so many of the emotions you've described, if not the specific experiences, and the depth f the feelings that really have no words.
Congratulations on your upcoming solo exhibition! Wish I could attend your opening, to toast your success in person :)

Connie said...

Zom, I went to your website again tonight...and there is something about your studio that rings all the way into the core of my heart!! I mean that.

I take spanish class at the university. Last semester I had to give a presentation on my dream house. Everyone of course had their ultra contemporary superstar houses--and mine was a tree house in Costa Rica. I included a studio space in the back, near the ocean--it was very similar to your studio.

I don't know what this all means...but I feel like I've been to your studio--like maybe I'll be there someday? Anyways, I believe you promised me a position as your apprentice!!

Peace & Love.

Zom said...

I did Connie, I did.

luthien said...

that was liberating :) congratulations DD... you have done ... or at least are doing ...what you seek out to do in life. it is a brave thing to do and not everyone has either the balls (i dun mean literally)or the staying power to do what you did. most prefer to just take cover in something "safe"... and then look longingly from the other side of the window of what might be if they had given it a try! i salute you my fren :)

p/s... funny... my dad said EXACTLY the same thing as your dad and then i went and did an accounting & economics degree... hilarious!!!

Renee said...

Zom; I don't think you need to feel awkward in social situations. You are beautiful, intelligent, articulate and have work that you can be very proud of.

I believe in you. xoxoxo

Love Renee

Renee said...

Zom, I just relooked at your artwork. If you were anything else but an artist, what we all would have missed.

I loved spirit and exhausted at the stairs. I have been there.

Love Renee

Renee said...

Just back from looking at your girls jumping.

Thanks for your comment, you are right. xoxo

Love Renee

miz katie said...

I loved reading your story. Your paintings are beautiful. I wish you luck in your upcoming show. eeee!! a show!! Congrats!! :)