Friday, February 5, 2016

i wanna be an artist when i grow up

If you have attempted to fit whatever mold
and failed to do so, you are probably lucky.
You may be an exile of some sort,
but you have sheltered your soul.
- Dr. Estes

I heard a comment from someone the other day
that reminded me that there are still far too many people
who see the artist as a fuzzy kind of
they still don't know what they wanna do
with their lives and they're too lazy
to do anything else
kind of profession.
Many years ago, the father of a friend
asked me what i did for a living.
When i replied that I was an artist,
his response was, with the flip of a hand:
"oh, well then you must be poor."
and he walked away.
And he said it with a straight, serious face.
He was far too important
to waste his time with an artist.
He was a business man with money.
I was just an artist.
(today, I'd tell him to fuck off.
But back then, I was less confident)
I went away feeling torn
with the thoughts in my head
flying around like annoying mosquitos.

Maybe he's right.
I'll never have money.
Maybe i should do something else.
This is too hard.
I should pick something more stable.

Thankfully, I stayed on my path.
I surrounded myself
with people who encouraged me,
and kept voices like his
as far away from me as possible.
No it wasn't always easy,
no, I didn't make a lot of money,
but like most things that aren't easy,
life in the arts is so worth it.
(especially when that's who you are!)
It took me years to develop
the confidence i needed
to be able to stand in my own light
and to be proud to say:
Without justification.
Without shame.
Without feeling any less


or ambitious

or educated

or capable

or important than anyone else.
It took me years
to understand
what my work was worth.
Not in terms of money,
but in terms of meaning,
for me and others,
and ultimately,
the world.

Yes. The world.
That's how big I see things now
because i believe in the ripple effect.
I believe that if ONE person is inspired
by someone or something,
if ONE person sees something
that makes them happy,
then they in turn will inspire others.
At the very least, they will be happier themselves
for a moment in time,
and if they are happier for a moment,
chances are, they will spread their joy
and make someone else happy too.
I'm not convinced that money can do this.
(there are a lot of lonely rich people in the world).

I did this quick painting outline
a few nights ago,
and as soon as i did the 3 "plants",
i decided to scrap it
(by putting a black line through it!)
Once the black line was there,
I looked at it and decided
to add more black lines through it...
connecting the lines here and there
 At this point, it made sense to add some color...
 and a few more colors...
and more still.
The lighting is bad here,
but as you can see -
i think it's been revived!
I'm not sure i'm done with it..
i'll post an update if i do anything else to it.
And this quick sketch of me & my thoughts...
i made myself prettier.
And thinner ;)

If you know someone
who wants to be an artist
or an actor
or a writer
or a dancer
or a poet
or a musician...
especially if they're young & just starting out,
to stay with it!
Society doesn't make it easy for them.
The world doesn't make it easy for them.
Tell them to keep going.
Tell them it takes a lot of guts 
to do what they're doing.
Tell them they'll need to get comfortable
with uncertainty.
With not always being rewarded financially.
With questions and assumptions
and judgement from others.
But tell them to KEEP GOING ANYWAY.
The world needs them now
more than ever.


  1. I had a huge comment that was almost like a blog post! I dumped it! Powerful post! If there is anyone who could make lots of money being an artist it is YOU!! I hope that never blocks you! You are such a talented artist! I love your selfie, I think you should make videos classes and sell them at an affordable cost. You would make a phenomenal teacher...I believe you could pull the radical out of many artists!! Love all your art!! Sorry that friends dad was so ignorant! His loss!!He missed out on your talent!

    Hugs Giggles

  2. Yes, this is a very powerful post! LOVE your vibrant painting and words!! Wonderful sketches and stained glass like art too.

  3. Glad you did not let anyone stop you. It is so important to do what you love. I love the work on this post, written and drawn. So happy we have this group--we can motivate one another! Have a great week and kick anyone's butt (in the nicest way of course) that tries to get in the way of your happiness! xo

  4. Fabulous girl, love your colour doodle too

  5. I agree!

    Your girl painting is fabulous. I can feel the loneliness. The colours are beautiful together, and give a sense of hope.

    I also enjoyed your self-portrait and your thoughts and feelings about yourself.

    Inspiring one can inspire many! You are a wise woman!

  6. You are my hero! I'm singing this by the please read it as a song:)
    So happy to be in you ripple...feel this post with my heart.
    LOVE how you've nurtured your 'three plants'- the harvest looks bountiful and beautiful. hugs. xx

  7. Hi, Pauline. Enjoyed reading your post. Your drawings and paintings are super. I felt like an outsider for years, especially when I was growing up. I found my way through those lonely times by accepting who I was, enjoying what I was doing and keeping at however harsh the criticism.

  8. Wonderfully charming girl! Though a little sad. I suppose if we weren't judged on whether or not we are artists, we would be judged for something else. Avoid judgey people when possible!