Guys, I’m turning 40 next week. The number doesn’t bother me. My hair is getting greyer, I have to stretch a little now before playing softball, but otherwise it’s just a number. Many people have asked me how I feel, telling me that 40 is a big deal. I honestly don’t feel like it is, but the questions have made me think about what I’m doing and what direction I want to go in. My kids are getting older so my role in their life is (once again) changing, which means the time/energy I invest in my career is also changing. Some form (pretence) of balance has always been important to me (although still haven’t figured that one out, I’m seriously beginning to think it’s a myth). Family has always come first and will continue to do so, but I find I do have a little more time that I want to spend on art. My question to myself lately is what kind of art?
I love freelancing, it allows me to do a variety of jobs, meet new clients and to work with repeat clients that we’ve discovered make a great team together. Also being a commercial artist allows me to make money doing something I enjoy. Artist have bills just like everyone else. While it would be nice to create art to just add to the worlds’ art culture or express some message inside us, we need to make a living too!
I want to play around and develop my art in new directions. I have done a few editorial jobs this past year and really enjoyed them as well as doing some fabric designs for a client, now I want to really start creating some fabric collections of my own, I also want to focus on some traditional painting and developing a style there. I am still kind of all over the place with what I want to do and not all of it is art related! (you’d think at 40 I would have my act together, but it just keeps changing!). I will of course continue illustrating but I would like to explore new avenues of commercial art and maybe even mix in a little fine art too!
So what’s my plan?! This past month I’ve taken a few online courses and listened to some seminars, kind of the basic “starting your own business, being a commercial artist” etc. All things I learned in college and in my first years after I graduated. Just refreshing my memory about why I got into this in the first place and outlining what my big (new) goals might be and now making smaller more manageable lists of how to achieve these new goals/directions. And you know what? I’m getting excited about it all again! I feel like in some ways I am starting over, but when I look at my lists I realize, because of my work experience, I’m already half way there for most of the goals. Writing it all down is encouraging, especially when in my head it feels all over the place and impossibly overwhelming.
So here’s to a new decade!
Anyone else go through career or style changes in their art? How did you do it? Are you going through a change now or want to? I think art is one of these things that kind of change with you as you gain experiences and are at different phases in your life. I think for it to continue to mean something to you, to be fulfilling, it needs to change and grow with you.