|A mural made by the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia|
Well. Since awhile now, I have been considering as many career options as I have considered places I would like to travel in the world. That is a lot. Things I have considered doing range from tattoo artist to animator to illustrator, but I knew I at least wanted to be an artist to make my living. I was doing the Artist in Residence thing and totally loving it. But I knew that someday I will move out of Eugene, and try to have another Big Art Career to do along side with being an Artist in Residence. I guess I was at sort of a crossroads and not sure which way to focus, so I emailed an old professor and asked for advice. Which career direction did he think my art was best suited for? Well, he didn't answer that question, but pushed the notion that I really should probably narrow it down. A lot. So I gave myself a deadline. A few weeks down the road, I will have thought long and hard about this decision. It's a really scary notion, making this big of a decision. What if I am limiting myself and closing doors by picking just one area of focus for my art career?! I worried but then thought, no, this is just for NOW. I will pick one focus for RIGHT NOW and if at some point I have given it an honest shot, I will pick something else later. So I wrote pro and con list after pro and con list for each career option. It's a funny thing, trying to make a decision this big, by being this systematic. Once all the lists were made, it was like I didn't REALLY need to look over and consider them that closely. Just the act of making these lists was enough to hear what my heart had been whispering to me all along. Now that voice was louder, with the facts all written down instead of floating around chaotically in my brain. A Muralist, that was IT. With murals, I can work with people. I can help people brighten their spaces, get more business in their places of business, work with kids sometimes, and paint REALLY REALLY BIG. Murals are so BOLD! I love almost everything about this whole business of making them. The answer was in my heart, it just took some focus and some dedication to trying to hear my inner voice, for me to come to the right decision for myself.
So after I had come to that, I felt, for lack of a better cliche, like a huge weight had been lifted. I felt happier and lighter, knowing I only had to try as hard as I can to succeed in this ONE area, rather than continue to dabble in and spread myself too thinly in so many others.
Not even 2 weeks after, I received a call from the Mural Arts Program, letting me know that there was now another intern spot open and would like to have it? (I had previously been rejected after making it to be a finalist). YES I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE IT! I screamed in my mind but calmly spoke over the phone. I applied to this last year and didn't get it. Then I applied this year, made it to the finalists, but no cigar. NOW, I was being offered this AMAZING opportunity. It is something I want SO BAD. It's just so funny to me that once I decided this is really what I want to do whole-heartedly, the Universe turned around and gave me this gift, almost seeming to back up my decision, telling me I'd made a good one.
So turns out that sometimes maybe we have to choose a path, and choose it with clear purpose. I heard somewhere that "we can do ANYTHING we want, but we can't do EVERYTHING we want." It sounds scary, like again, maybe we're limiting ourselves. This has been a good lesson for me though, that choosing something and trying to put all the "what ifs?" and the other roads you DIDN'T take out of your mind, can be a really powerful thing. It's like I've given myself permission to just put ALL my career-starting energy into this one area. Greater things will probably happen this way, than if I just try everything. Sort of like being able to spin one plate better than 7.
I know this is long and preachy so I'll wrap this up. Just wanted to share this bit of good news and a lesson learned recently, with you guys....whoever is out there reading this. :)
One plate for now,