The BAD! idea that woke me up this morning

Good Morning! Well, this is what I was thinking about when my eyes opened this morning…So here it is.
I have been working this weekend on my new book…yep The New Book.
I ‘ll post the new pages here a little later…I have to scan them all in. I have the first three pages done so far. Doesn’t sound like much when I put down the numbers, but trust me, these pages are detailed, and they were about the most fun I have had in a while. It’s been awhile for a book to be started again, so to my loyal Art Journal book fans…Here comes the next one! Yea!
This book is the most personal I have ever done, it’s about me, my journey this last twelve months and not anything like the “scrapbook” type art journals I have produced before. It’s fun to get the spreads done and think…I can’t wait to put this one up! I can’t wait to share, that’s so nice to feel after all the years of feeling like I needed to hide parts of me…I had to paint pretty pictures so that people would be interested. Well…As I age and my work matures along with me, I find that I really don’t think about the person who will fall in love later on and take the work home with them. I used to say I couldn’t paint for the public, that I had to work for me. But the truth is I was trying very hard to correct or “fix” my confidence issues, with he old axiom “fake it till you make it” attitude. You know being the change…That whole thing. Well..It only took 12 months, I have been doing way fewer shows this year (Only 5 local shows this year) so that I could work. Just work. Not working for shows, or commissions, just working and learning new stuff…Finding my artistic voice…And learning to fly, without wings. I have had to learn how to not panic when months go by and I don’t have sales, or big reviews or glamour of anykind. I don’t always do so well with that…I have been successfully self employed (some years better than others, the recent past being the worst in my her-story) . So I had to actually pull back on the whole I’m going to be an artist…(in my mind that means…You will now make your living off of this product that you will then market and sell).
OK, it doesn’t sound so bad, I have been making something to sell (plant nursery, and Garden Design company) for years…No problem…I Know This. Except, I know most artists are struggling with becoming better business people I am trying to try less hard to make this a business. The desense-atizing of how and what money means to me. The deconstruction of my addictions to monetary success. What does it look like when you are being who you really are? What do you look like? What does that feel like?
Well, for me it means that I become the best artist/creator that I can be. That means I spend time on my craft, that means I spend less time marketing, building, creating a money making machine. It means I’m not a business woman first, I am an artist first. It’s new ground for me, I have been full time with my art career for three wild and crazy years. Am I making a total living? No. I did have to take on a “day job” to keep myself in the basics, chocolate and art supplies. Am I a freaking lucky woman to have a mate that is willing to reduce our living comforts so we can be single income family for the most part (three boys are not cheap BTW) and I can explore this further. Is it fair to ask my kids to understand that we don’t go to the movies every weekend, or buy new toys or go on big vacations anymore? Is it fair for my mate to have to wait three months for enough saved up money to buy a new pair of work shoes? Is it fair that I want to do this so badly that I turn a blind eye to the next school fund raiser (OMG not another one!)?
I think so. You know why? Because doing this is making me and my family richer. This weekend, we were laying around, my two little ones on the floor, each drawing, and pasting, and coloring in their own art journals and me in mine. We talked about the new Stampington Mag that I picked up ( my one indulgence) and talked about the art we saw on the pages. We tried a few things out, and then the youngest (Max Justice defender of the underdogs…his art name he says) dictates what his pictures are about and I write it all out for him. They are both so excited that we are all writing books together. They stay up at night being sneaky…to finish the drawing they started…or lord help me, gluing in bed. (Thank heaven for the person who invented glue sticks!)
My boys and I are closer than ever. We go on three mile walks (with our wonder pooch) and talk about art and collect leaves and treasures along the way…It’s pretty damn cool. They are normal kids they ask for stuff all the time, and I tell them no all the time. They say why and I say it’s not in our family budget. I ask every week for everybody to tell me their Needs…And I take care of as many of those as possible, the rest is for birthdays and holidays. My kids don’t get stuff any other time. Last year I spent 72.00 on Christmas for a family of five…at the time that was 72.00 more dollars than we had to spare. My kids spent two hours unwrapping their gifts…looking at each item in their handmade treasure boxes (recycled vintage makeup cases) filled with dollar store, and goodwill tiny toys. Two hours. I thought what the hell have I been doing all these years? My oldest got a box made from a recycled check box…you know the ones that your checks come in from the bank. I covered it in canvas and painted it, then made 365 little cards with quotes and charms written on them. I called it “I had a bad day” box. At the time, he was going thru growth, change….scary stuff. So, I wrote instructions on the bottom of the box. Shake three times, think about your feelings in the moment, open and read the first card you are drawn to. Follow the directions and feel better…take two cards in the morning…you know that sort of thing. He sat and read every single little card…two hours. He still uses the box when he needs to, and he loaned it to his girlfriend recently…he said she needed it for a while. Am I cheating my kids…hell no, what you crazy?
My husband and I gave each other thirty minutes every morning…for the last year we committed to getting up even earlier in the morning (4:30 am) so we could just start our days with a little love instead of crazy get out the door on time energy. We gave each other the gift of time. That’s not Free BTW. I don’t want to get up even earlier than I do most days…I have to pull myself out of my warm bed…why do I do it? Because he means that much to me…he feeds me…my heart, the woman inside that is sexy, smart and funny. The woman inside that is spiritual, needy, and demanding. He feeds me….love.
So, I guess that’s what I wanted to say…and I did not when the lottery. It was poker night up in heaven…I guess…but I am going to buy another ticket…just in case!
Have a soulful day, Heather
Support living artists!

1 Comment

  1. pinky
    October 17, 2005

    this is really beautiful. i have friends that spend WAY beyond their means every year for birthdays, holidays, you name it. toys for their daughter at every store. me and my daughter didn’t have it that way. yes, she asked a million times about toys that she wanted, but i said no. we got the same treasures you did. walks in the refuge, playing in the yard, making glitter pinecones and learning to paint with nature. you can’t buy those things. you can only create them. i was going to buy a halloween costume for my daughter this year. i have never, ever been able to afford it and i could this year. then my brother pops up with “only the cool moms make their kid’s costumes! you used to be that cool mom…” sucky brother. so, we comprimised. she got fairy wings from the store, and i get to paint the rest of her costume. she will be the Firey Fairy of the Forest and she will look awesome. and, instead of it costimg me 30, 40 or 50 dollars, it’s costing me 14 dollars and a little bit of time. just remember, some of the best presents you can ever give cannot be wrapped in a box.


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