Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Life is a Long and Twisting Road

We all start out our youngest days with dreams and plans.  My daughter dreamed of being both president and a cardiologist, simultaneously, possibly with a side job of mail delivery and working at McDonalds so that she could have all the hamburgers she wanted.  Over time, her dreams changed and her vision refined.  She still isn't certain what path she want to take but she is narrowing down the possibilities, marrying passion with practicality.

I remember my own childhood.  My dreams wandered from one vision to another.  Would I become a zoologist who worked on a game preserve in Africa  (if only!!)?  Would I grow up to star on Broadway?  Could I write the great American novel?

Alas, none of these things happened.  I fell into a major that I felt uncertain about, and then graduated equally undecided.  I took the classic nineties road of slacker graduate, not really focusing on anything long enough and not really wanting a "real job".

I fell in love and so started a career that allowed me time to homeschool my children and work from home.  All praise and gratitude to the internet!

 I bought and then sold vintage clothes.  Later, my focus shifted to handmade jewelry and graphic design.  For about 15 years, I managed a lucrative income on sites like ebay and etsy, but couldn't help but wonder what lay around the next twist in the road.

Katrina came through New Orleans and we left like so many other displaced refugees and found shelter in a small rural community just south of Baton Rouge.  My husband became ill and fought a long and valiant battle against cancer, passing away about two years ago.

The twist in the road was harsh and steep.  I was left with four children to raise and an income that never goes as far as we need it to.

I realized that only working from home was no longer enough.  I started selling jewelry at art markets and craft fairs and my success wavered between meh and so so.  Still, I was making my way back into the world.

My interest in jewelry making began to wain and my creativity leaned more and more to graphic design and then, as I felt braver, into digital art.  I realized that I had somehow stumbled into something I loved.  I had found a road that I desperately wanted to travel.

But how to make a living at it?

Good question!  I am just starting out but hope the road will go on and on and on!

I have my work at a few local galleries.  I am applying to art markets.  I have enrolled in a marketing class.  I am taking all the right steps and am hoping they will take me where I want to go!

What strange and crooked path have you followed to get where you are today?

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