“the fault in chasing paper”
Here I find myself at a bit of a crossroads. However, I put myself here and I put myself here on purpose this time. As you know or may not know “starving artist” is a common term and sometimes pretty accurate in describing how hard it is to make a living as an artist. I majored in photography quite a while ago. Graduation happened and real life came in with no hesitation and about as quick and urgent as an out of control freight train barreling down a mountain. So I did what the majority of art majors did. I got a “real job” to pay my bills and though I assured myself i would do photography, it slowly slipped away from me until my camera was growing dust in a storage box somewhere deep in my closet. And in that regard, I unknowingly lost quite a bit of myself.
So fast forward and I found myself in a place that I could get back into photography. “I’ll be a portrait photographer!” the naive me said, “It’ll be fun and easy money!” Oh how wrong I was! But that is a post for another day. So the portrait thing obviously was not panning out and I wasn’t finding the joy in it. This is about the point I found and started following Brooke Shaden online. I will admit, I wanted her life. She was a full time photographer, she travels and teaches workshops, she creates beautiful meaningful masterpieces and she sells her works in galleries. She has a two books, she has done book and album covers. To be her! What a dream! To work fully and absolutely toward photography! How amazing?! But it seemed so far out of reach. I guess i assumed at first as we all may, that it fell into her lap because of her talent. However, I continued to follow her amazing blog posts that were full of motivation, courage and inspiration to not just dream a dream, but to go out and make your dreams happen. I learned that it didn’t just happen for her. She MADE it happened. She worked hard and still works hard everyday to make it a reality.
Then a big move for me and my husband came to move to Southern California. “Oh yes, they have so much art and it will be amazing! This is the place to be to get my art out” I thought to myself. Now, as with any move the job search started. So many photography and art jobs! I apply to them all! Even jobs of photographing people at the tourist attractions. But nothing was biting so to speak. Finally I found myself back in retail as a manager. What happened then? I let time get ahead of me. I was tired and exhausted and burned out when I got home. I watched photography start to silently start to slip. I wasn’t happy. The responsibility and task at hand was getting to me and I couldn’t relax and let things go. I was letting the stress build up and overtake me, I may have even given the stress more of an edge then it really had. I was getting stuck in the endless task of chasing paper. Chasing money to get by. Money brings happiness doesn’t it? But things in my head began to topple. My health got bad. I lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t think straight and got to a scary place that was closer to the edge then I have ever been. This wasn’t for me anymore and I had to get out.
I knew I had to make changes. A LOT of changes. I need to focus on my health and being happy. So I made the decision to step down and go to part time. Once that decision was made, it was like a weight was lifted off me and I felt the first steps to getting better. It’s not that I am not going to work. On the contrary, I am going to work even harder now. Yes, I am still working part time but I have the huge task to start truly pursuing my photography. I will be going to every gallery in SoCal. I will be offering commission fine art portraits. I am going to start offering mini local workshops to teach people their camera and maybe a bit of photoshop. I am working toward publishing a book. I am going to do everything I can possibly do and then some to make my dream a reality. That dream is to be a photographer. It’s not going to happen over night. And it is NOT going to be easy. It’s scary and yeah I admit I am panicking a bit. But I have to try. I have to believe in myself that I have the power to make this change happen. I want to be happy and if i need to live with a tighter budget and without some material things then so be it. Money doesn’t always being happiness. They say if you love your work you’ll never work a day in your life. My passion in photography is sooo deep and overwhelming that I have to take this chance.
So this announcement is about me going to take more time to pursue this dream I have and make it a reality. If I fail at least I know I tried my hardest. And because I tried I will have no more regrets.
Here’s to chasing down dreams and not just paper. . . . .