Live your own dream

Anyone who's read even a few of my posts has figured out I'm doing something I've wanted to do. It's just one of the dreams I've had for myself. Some I've already done, some I've yet to do, but this is a dream I'm living now. I'm savoring the moments. I confess I'm pretty giddy much of the time. People probably wonder who the grinning fool is. It's me. (It is I?) I'm the grinning fool.

But this isn't every artist's dream. Not every artist wants to paint in public and speak with dozens of strangers a day. Not every artist wants to make a living with her art. Not every artist even wants to sell her art at all. I get the feeling sometimes that there are artists who are measuring themselves and each other with some sort of yardstick- finding some worthy and others not. There's a hint of disdain toward "Sunday painters," and honor for those who paint daily and therefore take their art "more seriously." Consider the disdain toward crafters vs. "real artists." Sometimes the disdain is toward those who sell their work, vs. doing it strictly for the love of it. Oh, the list of reasons to dismiss each other's work, and our own, is long.

Consider some of the reasons we make art: Some people just love being in the company of other artists, so they make art, too. Some want to improve their skills as a personal quest. Some want to enter competitions. Some want to make their livings at it. Some want to give their work away. Some want to learn to paint in order to paint their grandchildren and have no further motivation. Some want an outlet that's nothing like their "real job" as a sort of antidote. Some just want to look at color and move it around.

I submit to you that any way and any reason we "do art" is good. Is enough. Is vital. Is honorable. For artists, making art is important to our souls and our minds and our lives. It would be good if we let ourselves off the hook to do it differently than we want to. We don't need to measure ourselves against anyone else. And we need to stop measuring others that way, too.

We could wallow in regret about having put our art aside for so long that now it's "too late" to be the artist we think we would have been otherwise. We could look at someone else's life and be envious. OR we could give ourselves what we really want now. No less and no more. Some dreams take years of work, and some dreams just take our own permission to spend an afternoon being an artist in our own home. Just remember, you're allowed to have lots of dreams. You can do them all at once... it's just a little easier doing them one or two at a time.

I'm living this dream now. But believe me, I have a few other dreams waiting in the wings for their turn on the stage. All in good time....

I'd love to hear what you think.


A Painting A Day by Diana Marshall said...

Hi giddy fool,
How wonderful to be living your dream and to be so happy.I know that I have never found anything else that makes me so happy as painting, so I know how you feel.(Aren't we lucky people)
You have really said it like it is. The main thing is to be true to oneself and not to be slave to other peoples opinions, what is right for you is right for you.
Good on you girl!


Jo Castillo said...

Susan, you say things so well. Is writing one of your future dreams?

I'm happy that you are happy. Keep on feeling good and doing well!

n. rhodes harper said...

I love your attitude Susan. I paint because I have to! My hands are out of control!! LOL In the artist world there will always be someone better than you or someone not quite as good as you are. that is just the way it is. But, that means there is room for everyone. I choose to admire those who can paint better than me, study them, learn from them and keep painting. I admire those who are not quite as good as I am because like me they find joy and keep trying. We are all the same, trying to create something of beauty, joy or meaning to us and hope someone else enjoys it along the way. Dreams are what keep us going, dreams are imagination and we can be and do anyting we want in our dreams.

Barbara Pask said...

Hi Susan, I'm happy for you and I can tell you're loving it and very happy. I'm driven to paint so I figure it's what I'm meant to do. I have met a few artist that seem to have their nose in the air thinking they are better than most and look down on others that aren't at their level. I think there is room for all of us, there are so many different tastes in art. Most of the artists I've met in person and on line have been wonderful, so sharing. So I choose to ignore those few and continue on my merry painting way. Happy painting. Barb

Susan Carlin said...

You each are living your dreams, too- I know. I've been thinking about all those artists who come in to the gallery and immediately place themselves on some sort of imaginary spectrum and either lament or brag. All the comparisons were getting to me, I think. Forgive my momentary soapbox, will you? I can't wait to get back to the gallery tomorrow after two days away!

BipolarLawyerCook said...

I couldn't add anything you what you've already said, so well.

Joan said...

Susan, I like your attitude towards art and artists!! You put it really well. There are many of us and each artist's story is unique. We need to do what is best for ourselves and follow our dreams. I followed Jo's link to yours and knew about your gallery from her. I will probably be in San Antonio for a wedding in Sept. and will definitely try to stop by your gallery for a visit.

Amy Sullivan said...

I so agree! I love being around artists, no matter what level.
It's all good. Art is for the spirit.
And it calls to you.

janabouc said...

I feel that I'm living my dreams too, of owning my own home with a studio, working at a meaningful day job 3.5 days a week that provides enough money, and having arranged my life so that it is focused on art. (And I'm healthy and so are my kids and extended family.) What more could I ask for!

ChrisB said...

Thanks Susan - I love reading your insights. You always seem to put my feelings into words and I thank you for that. Each time I paint I have to fight the feelings that for some reason I'm not going to be able to do it again. :o) I'm finding out that almost everyone has to deal with that and it gives me confidence that I'm on the right path. Just finished a great book on Georgia O'Keeffe and yes, she went through the same doubts but being the strong woman she was she pushed right on ahead and the rest is history in her case. Your words give me great confidence and I can't thank you enough.