The date on my seller’s permit is 2/15/2006. This means that I have been a self employed artist for 12 years, today. A dozen years!
12 years ago I was happily married, raising our daughter (then 5), and working at a great job in the music industry. I had this crazy idea of becoming a full time artist, but took baby steps to realize that dream. I first began working from home and traveling the city with my traveling curiosity shoppe, bringing my husband and daughter to the weekend events, selling my photography, handmade jewelry and procured curiosities. Momentum began to build, I started to take artistic risks. Things were good; I took a deep breath and gave notice to my wonderful and safe job.
Just 3 years after that bold move, my husband, having met another woman, asked for a divorce. In that splitting I lost my job (I worked from home), my family, most of my belongings and my entire life as I knew it. I very nearly gave up on my art dream, but somehow kept it going. I lived in tiny apartments, sleeping on the couch, taking every freelance job I could find to just stay alive. Time and time again I nearly opted for the easy way out, to get a regular job, but every time when it came right down to it, I just couldn’t do it. So I kept at my art, I kept honing my craft and vision. I kept making my books and I kept submitting my art to shows. I was receiving no alimony or child support – I only had my wits and determination to keep me going.
Sometimes I marvel that I’ve been at it so long without throwing in the towel – and boy have I ever gotten close. But I can’t give up on my dream, it’s not in my makeup to give up. So I show up, even with faith runs low, I show up and I do the work, and the work has, in turn given me EVERYTHING. This art that I make, it not only saved my life, but it gave me life.
It’s not often been an easy path, that’s for sure. But it’s always been my right path – the path that holds the most heart for me.
My sincere wish is for everyone to find what their path is, the one with heart, and to follow it faithfully. And in that following, to be surrounded with the love and support of people who believe in them – especially when their own faith dims.
I am lucky to have had the support of so many people who have purchased my art over the years, of my dear friends and family who have encouraged me in those times when the light dims. It feels a bit weird to share this, to celebrate anything when the world seems so broken and fragile. But we must continue to find value in who we are and what we bring to the world. We absolutely must shine on.
Thank you for being here to celebrate this milestone with me.
I am truly so grateful.
Thank you for a dozen years of this magnificent art life.
Photo of me, Liz Huston, circa 2006, in my home studio
This is awesome! Thank you for this post it’s inspiring
I’m also an artist this is my blog if you’d like to check it out https://mariagoundryblog.wordpress.com/
I loved seeing you today! Happy anniversary 🙂 My new print will be framed and up on the wall shortly.
Thank you so much for coming to the shoppe yesterday! It was lovely to see you!