Since graduating The Academy of Art University in 2011, I had all but given up on a career that I had dreamed of since my younger days of creating art and getting paid for it. I had excelled in all art forms - music, theatre and visual art. Even after graduating with distinction from The Academy of Art University from the Fine Arts department, I hadn’t landed gallery representation or been noticed by that one person that would make me famous.
At this time, rent in San Francisco, CA was starting to skyrocket. I was working three jobs to pay for my room/residence and my studio at Art Explosion Studios. I was a barista in the financial district, a bartender/server in the mission and an artist. The ladder was becoming less affordable regardless of my resourcefulness. I did the routine for a year. I was exhausted, broke and, honestly, hungry.
With that said, my artist career was going to look different moving back to the Midwest. In St Joseph, MO there was no resembalance of what I knew of as an art community. In San Francisco, art was like yoga. You had drawing workshops, gallery openings and even classes on marketing yourself as an artist any given time or day. I packed up my belongs, loaded all my unsold artwork in trailer and I made the best of it that I could. I began Marketing for a family business and emerged myself in the community I loved and missed so much. I started to forget - “I am an artist.”
I created less. I went into depression. I started taking antidepressants and seeing a counselor. I look in retrospect and maybe I could have been an artist in that environment. The more I am honest with myself, it becomes obvious that because where I was didn’t meet my expectations, I gave up. Environment is essential as an artist. I should have left. And, that’s exactly what I did.
Now, fast forward to the present, I am living in one of the largest cities in the world, Mumbai, India. There is literally creativity everywhere. There is art in every way of life here. I have started creating again. I have started living again! I have an iPhone11+, an Instagram account, Facebook Pages, a Twitter, a Redbubble Store, a Pinterest wall, a LinkedIn account, a yoga teachers certificate, a Squarespace website and a blog. I am ready now, right?
While, at the time, I tried to blame people, money and time, I had no one to blame but myself for my lack of inspiration and creation. In that truth, there is freedom. In that statement, there is creation and possibility. In my journey, I’m learning all the time that my expectation caused me to make choices that actually took my dreams away from myself. I was and am the holder of that key. So, ready, set, create.