Thursday, April 19, 2007
I've gotten several emails from lovely women, asking questions about pursuing an art career while raising children. I first off would say that the way I did it isn't right for everyone. There are so many factors in a decision like that. I have the drive to want to do more and more and I am lacking in the resting and calm skills. I also had a very important factor working for me, a supportive husband and family. If Dan wasn't a partner in raising our children, if he wasn't flexible and if he didn't believe that what I was spending all of this time doing wasn't of value, I wouldn't have gotten very far. He really is amazing. He made sacrifices to help me be me and I'm grateful for that. My family also helped pick up the slack where needed. It has taken me a while to figure all of that out. While I was in school, I was working so hard, carrying so much, that I gave myself too much credit. Another important factor was my dad. We are alike in lots of ways and he is/was supportive.
I don't feel like I've gotten any of this figured out, the demands and successes and failures are different everyday. I constantly am reassessing to make sure that I am providing adequate mother time to painting time. Sometimes it's all working and sometimes it gets out of balance. Sometimes I just feel plain ready to be locked up in a tiny white room, for lots of reasons.
I'm glad that I went back to school when I did. It was different being 30 in school then 19. My time was valuable and teaching and mothering had given me life experience to paint about. I did take my kids with me every single day into the studio. I learned to work in chaos and to use my time well, thinking when it was quiet and working when it wasn't. We had good times being together, beautiful days. I don't think the schooling is necessary but having immediate goals to work toward enabled me focus and work harder. I still work better if I have a show coming up. I also liked the interaction of faculty and students. It was different then having the gals from the neighborhood come by and tell you that they liked what you were working on.
Doing what I'm doing today wasn't a goal, it's more like I just keep climbing this ladder and every bit of success is a super cool surprise. My dad always says, the harder you work, the luckier you get. I think that's true. If you work for something, most of the time, you get what you want. And when you don't get what you want, you just have to pick yourself up, brush the gravel out of your knees, and keep going.