Being an artist is not nearly as fun and romantic as everyone thinks it is. Well, not being an artist that wants to earn a living from their art one day, anyway. You should try living in our brains for a while. Then you will be oh so happy and grateful that you took your dad’s advice and went to law school, or got that accounting degree. I promise.
I am learning a lesson in patience right now. I have so many things going on out there in the universe and all I can do is hurry up and wait. I had such a flurry of excitement happening in January and so many good things said, so many promising business meetings, so many people interested in my art and ideas. But the creative world seems to move in fits and spurts then goes back to sleep for a while. Or so it seems. I know things are happening, moving forward but the silence is a killer. You wait and you wait. You wait until you cannot stand it ONE SECOND LONGER. So you send out that email. Just a light and breezy, “Hey, just touching base, how are things?” hoping that you don’t sound nearly as desperate for some kind of news as to what is going on as you actually are. Hoping you didn’t just mess EVERYTHING up by having the nerve to wonder how things are going and actually checking in.
This is how our heads work. An artist is a strange creature. One moment we are on top of the world, sure of our talents, knowing without a doubt what we were put on this earth to do and dammit, we are GOING to let our light SHINE come hell or high water! Then a mere five seconds later we wonder WHO in the hell we are and WHAT in the hell we were thinking and OH MY GOD I have blown my one big break by daring to question the timing of things and there are only ten gazillion other more talented people than me and the fact that they are even interested in me is surely some kind of mistake that they will find out soon and now I better get back to that magazine layout and THANK YOU GOD that I was smart enough take that day job and am I putting enough into my 401K because I already have to tell my kids that they better look into scholarships for college but at least I can try to manage to have enough money that they don’t have to take care of me one day, and what the hell was I thinking spending so many years on this crazy art thing when I should have been all Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey-ing the past ten years and I am so far behind everyone else on the whole financial security issue. What and idiot I am, of course nothing is going to happen, I am a dreamer just like they told me and it is time TO GET SERIOUS! (See how much fun being an artist is? Crunching those numbers seems pretty nice right now, doesn’t it?)
But then you see an email come into your inbox. And it says, “Things moving forward, just taking time is all. All still promising. Will be getting with you within the month. Showed your art to a colleague – they LOVE it too! Stay tuned! Glad you emailed!”
And then you breath again and a million more ideas for your art pop into your head and you wonder how you could ever doubt yourself so much, cause you? You are an art ROCK STAR!! And then think you should really check into those bipolar meds your mother keeps mentioning.