‘Chasing the Dream!’
I’m sitting on the beach in Jervis Bay on the New South Wales coast. Ian and I have taken a few days off and headed down to one of our favourite coastal areas to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary.
Yesterday we went for a beach walk. It was great to feel the sand between my toes and scour the water’s edge for all sorts of interesting objects.
I love to take lots of photos and I came across this delightful little terrier dog. She was chasing the waves, trying to catch them as they rolled in and out. Tirelessly she raced up and down the shore, little legs going like the ‘clappers, undeterred with a smile on her face. Well, I thought she was smiling; I do think dogs laugh, in their own kind of way.
She inspired me, so I snapped her photo on my iPhone and made this little poster.
My husband Ian often says I’m like a terrier; I hold onto my art dream and refuse to let go! Lol!
It’s true. I can’t give up, even when I’ve wanted to. My desire, gift and passion for art and to earn my living as a full time artist just can’t be walked away from.
When you have a passion for something it’s like that. You can’t deny it because it’s the fuel that drives us.
Many people don’t know what the life of a professional artist is like. They think we spend our day at the easel, relaxing with brush and paint and really, why don’t we just get a ‘real job’?
How far from the truth! At least for myself and many other serious artists that I know and talk to.
Catch the wave!
While we were here in Jervis Bay I caught up with my fellow artist, Steve Harris. We were talking about this very thing. Steve has been a full time artist since Adam was a boy; well anyway, a long long time! He works at his easel from early morning, stops for meals then continues on till about 10pm, every day. That’s passion!
We chatted about the images that we feel describe this driving. For me I can relate to the sea. In the summer I spend a lot of time at the beach snorkelling and ‘boogy boarding’. The waves of the ocean roll towards me and I have to time it just right to catch that wave and lying on the board, ride the wave into shore. The secret is seeing the wave coming then getting the timing right to catch it. Sometimes I fall off the board and end up getting tossed about like a rag doll but I jump back on the board and get ready for the next wave. It’s huge fun!
Pursuing a dream is like that. Looking for opportunities, being ready, not giving up even when you fall off the board but also having some fun on the journey.
For Steve Harris, he could relate to a scene from Ben Hur, the movie. You remember the chariot race? Charlton Heston with his ruggedly handsome face, square chin and bulging muscles, he’s in the lead. But look behind him. There’s another chariot slightly out of focus. The guy in that chariot is hanging on for dear life! White knuckles clench the front of the chariot, eyes are bulging, feet off the floor. But he ain’t letting go, no siree! He’s hanging on till the end of the race!
Steve said that’s him, he can’t let go!
Stay in the Race!
I guess the thing is if you want to make it these days as a serious artist then you have to stay in the race till you win.
I think the trick is learning how to pursue the dream and maintain the passion without choking it to death. We as modern day artist have to pace ourselves and our energies. It can become consuming as I know too well. Multitudes of ideas floating around my head at all hours! I even have a notebook in my car’s glove box and another one beside my bed and have learnt to draw in the dark so I can jot down ideas in the middle of the night.
As someone who battled adrenal fatigue for 14 years I have had to learn to pace myself and prioritize. How do you eat an elephant again? Oh yeh, in very small bites!
Here is a tip given to me by my business mentor that you may find helpful;
Pick three things you want to achieve in your art business/career/dream in the next 12 months.
Now each morning dedicate 2-3 hours (for those not working in another job) to working on those three things only. These are your priorities. Yes and set a timer so you don’t overwork.
When those 2-3 hours are up go and do the other things that your business requires.
After 12 months you will have achieved a huge amount of progress in those three priority areas and moved your business forward.
If your priority list has more than 3 things on it then you don’t have a priority list; you have a ‘to do list’! That’s ok as part of the long term business plan but if you are like me I end up with lots of lists to keep track of my ‘to do lists’!
This 3 Priorities idea has helped me feel less overwhelmed and bit by bit I can see I am making progress.
Stay in the race till you win, chase the dream but have fun while you do it and while running the race don’t forget the people in your life J
Ciao for now ,