Back to the Future

In the 1960’s I went to school with a bunch of kids. We attended kindergarten through 8th grade more or less as a whole unit. People just didn’t move around like they do these days, so we had pretty good opportunities to get to know each other day in and day out. We were the 8th Grade Class of 1972. About 6 weeks ago one of us decided it would be fun to see if some might want to come together for a 40th reunion. A bunch did! So arrangements were made.

Here’s some of what I remember about being creative in grade school:

  • I drew horses a lot
  • My friend Patty and I would write and illustrate our own little books
  • We both loved our art classes

Imagine my surprise then when after pursuing an education in just about anything but art I finally put it all together that I was probably meant to make my living as an artist! I know grown ups were trying to save me the difficult life most artists have – making art isn’t a career choice that’s usually richly rewarded monetarily. But what people who don’t make art for a living miss is that this is a career choice that is rich in just about every other way! While others talk about looking forward to their retirement when they can ‘finally do the things they love’ full time, we artists usually react by saying “Retire from what? Doing what I love? No thank you!”

Of course it’s not always as simple as this. It is not easy coming up with regular ways to turn creative flow into money to pay bills. But on the flip side – I get to do a lot of different things every day to make this work, I never get bored and I have a body of work I can actually look at and know it wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t made this commitment to it. Side note: this is why making art that’s happy is so important to me. It’s how I’m spending the minutes and hours of my life, I not only want it to matter, I want it to positively influence this sometimes mean world.

Back to 1972

Turns out, I haven’t changed a bit! I’m doing what I was born to do:

  • I draw, paint and write about horses (and other animals)
  • I research, draw, paint, layout and otherwise make books (web sites, magazines, etc)
  • I get to be full-brain creative (left and right hemisphere use) every single day!

I made a drawing about what this reunion experience felt like to me:

7.25″ x 10″ – Graphite on Acid Free Archival Paper – Free Postage

This next drawing celebrates what’s so great about wonderful friends. Sometimes you’re the one carrying the other through life’s ups and downs, and sometimes you’re the one with the wings to help lift the other over obstacles.

Life’s Ups & Downs are Easier with a Friend

7.25″ x 10″ – Graphite on Acid Free Archival Paper – Free Postage