Saturday, November 15, 2008

why art?

how is it that we decide what we want to do in life?  is it something born into us that we sometimes don't acknowledge until later in life?  in high school i took every possible art & drama class that i could but i don't think i fully realized, at that point, that that was what i wanted my life to be.  my main goal in high school seemed to be friends, pot, and getting out.

why must we choose what we want to do for the rest of our lives when we're 16?  aren't we still too young to even know?  do we not have to experience life outside of institutions to discover ourselves?  i remember many a moment in the guidance counselors office discussing what i wanted to do with my life, where & what i would study in college/university.  i had no idea.  i knew i loved theatre, i knew i loved art & photography, i felt pressure to decided on a path.  so, i applied for theatre studies at a few schools and, as a back up, early childhood education (where that choice came from i have no idea).  i didn't get into theatre arts but i did get accepted to ECE, i didn't accept that offer.  i guess i knew deep down that wasn't for me, just applied to appease those around me that said i had to choose.

instead of college i went to work at the company my dad worked for.  i worked 3 days a week and took night classes at The Second City.  i had so much fun in those improv classes, even had to do a performance in my last level (where i sang opera, not something i could have ever seen myself doing in front of an audience but we (me and the 2 guys i sang with) were a hit!).  despite the fun i came to the realization that it wasn't for me, being in front of an audience, i would much prefer to be behind the scenes.  at this point i was 20 years old.  still discovering.

i'm now 31 and i KNOW that i want to be an artist/photographer.  it feels like it's too late now, like i'm "too old".  i could have applied for art school but didn't, i could be well into my art career by now if i had only realized it was my bliss when i was 16.

it takes time, time to live, discover, open, dream, believe, and it's ever evolving. i am NOT too old, i just have to work harder.  

one thing does appear consistent though, the desire to do something, fulfill myself,  in a very competitive field.  i'm not a competitive person, if i'm losing at monopoly i couldn't care less, i was having fun while playing.  the world of art is a competitive and snobby one.  i don't care much for the snobbery, everyone should have beauty hanging from their walls.  the problem is, art is not NEEDED and in these times of cutbacks and penny pinching art is one of the first luxuries to go.  still, i must do it.  it's part of me, i can't help it.  i have a 9-5 corporate job which i would prefer not to have but i have to fund my dream somehow.  funny how that works isn't it?  most of the time when i get home from that job i'm so drained i couldn't be bothered to put that last inch of energy into my studio time.  with commute to & from included it's an 11 1/2-12 (depending on traffic) hour day.  that's pretty long.

anyways, i'll keep on keepin' on and hopefully one day the thing  i love can be the thing that occupies my days.


Cassia Beck said...

I completely empathise here.
If I had known back then how much I love photography now, I might have chosen it as a career path.
I chose Ceramics at the time which I feel is a huge part of me but somehow photography pulls at my heart strings more.
We become more confident knowing what we like as we get older, we don't feel the need to justify it.
I always wanted to conform, maybe I still do, but I know what I like.
I am a self taught photographer, hoping for a good result without great knowledge of the technicalities, and you know what? I love what I do, that's not something I could say before.

Keep going, your work is fantastic, being an artist is bloody hard, maybe that's what drives us.

Sylvie Van Hulle said...

I recognize myself soooo much in your post! Glad I've found your blog! We have the same dream, and I think it's important to have people/friends believing in you. And that we can share our doubts.

I've always wanted to do art, but for a 'secure' future I chose graphic desisgn, while in fact I am a painter. Now I work 3 days a week in a graphic design studio, and teh rest of the time I work on my dream; becoming a fulltime artist. And one thing is very true; it's HARD work. But I believe, if you keep working, your dream will come true!! It's our destiny ;-)
Your paintings are fanatstic!!

afiori said...

It's NOT too late, it's early or exactly the right time! If you can't stand your job I think you need to quit. Or cut back. Can you work part-time? Is there no alternative kind of funding in Canada for starting your own business?
I'm just starting my business as a writer, artist and language consultant (proofreading, editing, translation etc.) - I HAVE TO do it. I have to. Can't work whatever hours they give me as a substitute teacher anymore and keep getting kicked out for being younger / newer - inspite of having the longest education. Argh! We need to do what we need to do and art is necessary!

♥ visit me at

amanda said...

you guys are fantastic, i'm not alone afterall...hahaha.