When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to do was draw, make cards and watch cartoons. I could get lost for hours in the act of creating. Growing up has a way of striping out one of the childhood joys, although I did manage to hang onto small parts of what was inside me in those early days. Even when it came time for college, I knew I had to go to art school, or I wasn’t going at all. It’s debatable as to whether or not I should have majored in graphic design. Some of that decision was guided in response to what kind of art doesn’t leave you as a “starving artist”.
Several design jobs and a career change into ministry, there came an inevitable ache that surfaced and wouldn’t go away. You know what i’m talking about? The kind that gnaws at you over time, always just beneath the surface. No amount of job or career change resolves it. It’s deeper than that. It’s hinged on purpose. This goes way beyond working just so you can pay rent, have a car, provide for a family. Beyond working to pay bills and for possessions and vacations. I think most people may not hate their job, but they’re not loving it either.
What I’m talking about is the stuff of dreams. That place where your very being comes alive, and intersects with your talents. That place where you are fully alive.
I’ve been on the journey towards that place for a long time. There were pit stops and false destinations along the way. But it kept calling.
What’s my dream? To create art that engages people; that connects with their hearts and moves them. Art that is helpful. I want to give myself to this pursuit fully, while being able to “make a living” from it. It’s a dream that is filled with creating in multiple formats utilizing all my talents and abilities. And the more I press into this, the clearer it becomes.
Do you know what I’m talking about? Having a dream and passion so consuming that you don’t have a choice but to lean into it?
Most of us turn back in fear at some point, or hear the “voices” of reason, responsibility, etc. They tell you you can’t do it. And too often so many of us believe them.
For me, as the passion grew, and the dream beaconed louder, all I could do was take the right next step. One after the other.
And now, it feels like my biggest step of all. I’m pursuing my dream. All in. What does that mean?
....I’m going full time into my own art business.
Sometimes it takes an event to interrupt your routine. Mine was my previous employer eliminating a few positions (mine included) due to financial difficulties.
I’ve been pondering my next steps for a while now, and it feels a bit like God has pushed me out of the nest. I’ve been doing my own art in the margins, but it feels like God has orchestrated recent events for me to seize this opportunity. To lean in to where He is calling me.
I will be looking to build up my “ARTrepreneurial” business in what has been referred to as the “Portfolio Life”. Think of it as a wheel with spokes (see drawing below). Each spoke represents a different facet of what I will offer.
- Graphic Design services
- Pet Portraits
- Pop Art (Star Wars, The Walking Dead, etc.) and Art Fairs / Cons
- Original Paintings
- Teaching (via online video courses, workshops)
- Communication (public speaking on Art & Creativity / blogging, writing, maybe even a book)