Beth Meadows

Do not worry. Fear.

"art business", "fear", "salvage"B1 Comment

If you follow this blog, you may have noticed I haven't been writing as much as listing the work I've been making. While a major role of this blog is to share the work I make, it's also an outlet for my thoughts. Heaven knows I need an outlet for those.

I do think about writing all of the time, the list of subjects is never-ending, but I haven't sat down to do it. I thought today, I'd give it a whirl, to get the ball rolling again.

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Last week marked a big milestone for me- I quit my part-time job as an Administrative Assistant, a position I held for four years after a six-month unpaid internship. I'm still Knox Heritage's Architectural Salvage Coordinator, and I'm still making art, so, while I don't have a new job, I'm hoping to expand and grow the two I've had for a few years now.

I know. It's nuts to quit the only job that gives you a steady paycheck in this economical climate. I have strategically decided to ignore everything I've been told about the reality of the world, but I am not blissfully unaware. I made the decision to put on blinders and face (/jump) forward (/off a cliff). It's not so silly if you really think about it!

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I know I run the risk of sounding like a baby, but... Being creative can be a painful thing, and being an artist is even worse. Everyday you're filled with new ideas to create but what you are stuck with is ADD, self-doubt, an incessant need for validation, and very few career opportunities. Most creative jobs out there are built on a foundation of a non-artist telling an artist what to do or have nothing to do with the creation of art. (No, thank you.) So I've taken jobs in non-creative fields, only to realize they can't keep me forever. Where once they were engaging and I was content, they and I are no longer, and Art is what I find to be most alluring.

***

So I am currently self-employed, basing my income on what I sell. It's strange to realize that I really do like sales if it's something I believe in whole-heartedly, like the architectural salvage program or the art I make. I'm not saying it's easy, but when I can find that person out there that wants what I can offer in these areas that I'm passionate about, it's a good feeling. No. Great! Phenomenal! It was enough to make me think, "Maybe I can do this."

I realize I've based my career path on my emotions. I do aspire to be more rational but what I feel compels me to make foolish decisions sometimes. This would not be the first time, and I'm still here.

My hope is that I'll learn what the next step is and have a clearer vision for my life, but I'm worried, not just that I may not be able to make ends meet, but that I won't find a career that suits me, a fear so many of my peers face, not just artists. Why? Because we are self-centered, proud, and had too much handed to us by our hard-working parents? Probably.

Another possible explanation is that reality hasn't equaled the expectations we were told to have. It wasn't until I threw out the life that lived in my imagination that I could embark on a new path that exists in reality (I'm still working on this). I'm optimistic, trying not to worry but to develop a healthy fear about what it really means to be an Artist, one of the scariest jobs out there*.


*more on that later.