Sunday, October 6, 2013
Maybe taking myself seriously, for once...
I'm an artist and a mom. I've wanted to be both things as long as I can remember.
I know the mom part of what I'm doing on a daily basis is really important -- raising my children to be good humans, to care about others, be kind to animals and the Earth, to learn and read and grow. But oh boy, they are draining!
I never feel rested, no matter how much sleep I get. I haven't finished a magazine in one sitting since before my six year old was born. It's rare I have a chance to write an entire blog post or email (my husband is entertaining the kids in the other room as I write this.)
My children make me feel old. In good/bad news, I never get carded any more when buying beer, but I finally look my age.
On the art side of things, in recent years I've discovered the world of art licensing and have been lucky to be able to earn a real living from it. I feel amazingly lucky every time I sit down to draw something, knowing that someone will want to buy it.
I'm always thinking, what can I do to do more art? How can I make my work better? How can I better balance the mom/artist thing?
One problem is the ever-present mommy guilt. That nagging voice that tells me anything I do for me, alone, is taking time away from my children and is selfish. I should spend every moment with them, spending time with them, being present for them.
Then I found a babysitter (yay!), and suddenly have six hours a week completely kid-free. It's October... Part A of Make Art That Sells is also held in October...
Hmm, mommy guilt versus the chance to figure out how to make my good art really great, maybe even figure out how to combine drawing and watercolor with digital, and rectify it with my retro-mod vector Illustrator style... What to do??
It was a big decision. It's a time commitment; how big, I didn't know. I do have the babysitter, but will I need/want more time? I do tend to be a nit-picky perfectionist. Can I afford it financially? Will I have enough motivation? Can the kids survive for five weeks eating cereal for dinner, watching TV 24/7, and driving themselves to school? (kidding!)
I've tried lots of stuff over the years, and nothing got me as kid-on-a-Christmas-morning excited quite like art licensing (fabric design, pattern making in general & illustrating digital dies, in my case). I know I never want to go back to the world of corporate design (that is, a "real" job), if I can help it.
I decided, the heck with the pro/con list making, what better time than the present? Jump in, see what happens, what's the worst case scenario? I create some new work that I otherwise wouldn't? I try some new mediums or some old, forgotten ones? The timing is just right, the kids will be fine, it'll all work out in the end. So if not now, then when???
Like having a baby, there's never a perfect time. Just jump in and take it one step at a time! So here we gooooo....!