Do you ever listen to the radio while you're driving and every channel has a commercial, there's traffic, you're exhausted and grumpy, then you come across one of your favorite songs from when you were a kid? The kind of song that makes you feel like you still have potential, like you're going to do something good in the world that's worth doing? Also that if you don't start doing whatever it is that you're supposed to be doing, you'll surely explode? Well for me, that song is "Ba ba O'Riley" by The Who. I heard that song this morning and it helped me think of what I should write about in this blog. A change is a-commin and it's so necessary I can't wait!
By now, if you all have read my other blogs, you know that I have multiple jobs. I work at an after school program, I work as an assistant marketing director, on and off I make hot lunches under my business name "The Lunch Lady" (meatloaf is my specialty), and I am a commissioned portrait and landscape artist. Now this doesn't leave me with a lot of free time. Weirdly enough, I actually love my jobs. I am insanely lucky because I have a very flexible schedule, wonderful bosses and fun coworkers. But if this summer taught me nothing else, it is that I need time to make my own art, and right now - it's not happening.
It's time for a change. I've realized that while I love sharing with others my ability to create realistic family portraits, I don't feel that puffed up sense of fulfillment once I've completed them the way I used to. I've decided it's time for a break.
Now this doesn't mean I'll never do a portrait again. But I've picked a date to go on a hiatus. It'll be after the holidays, on January 1st. I'll still be accepting commissions until then, but less frequently. This will give me more time to focus on my personal art, which will hopefully then stem into the art I sell professionally.
It's a weird feeling for me to type this out. Just the thought of rejecting anyone who would request art from me in any form seems unnatural.
But it feels like I'm sort of standing at an art crossroads, deciding to be the realistic artist, or the conceptual artist. My "Ba Ba O'Riley" happy moment today gives me hope that this is the right way to go, choosing to focus on the art that makes me feel emotionally stable rather than financially.
I've also made schedule changes with my other jobs, working longer hours but only from Monday - Wednesday, leaving Thursday and Friday wide open for making art. The new schedule officially starts tomorrow!
I hope this doesn't sound like I'm ungrateful to those who have commissioned me. I want to make it clear that I've appreciated every cent I've received as a portrait artist, and every cent I will receive until the new year. I don't feel like I'm "better" than portraiture, not even close. I just know that I need to make this change, just to try and see if I really focused on my own art, could I succeed?
Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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