A moment of insight and revelation.
I’ve been having many insights all day today… about how I’ve grown up, all the jobs I’ve had and the many places I’ve lived. You can say I’ve just about tried almost every kind of job! I’ve been a waitress, worked at a bakery, did telemarketing, worked as a sales associate at a clothing store, and at one point I even got my Life Insurance licensing as a Life Insurance Agent! Good god, saddest job ever. The point is, none of these jobs ever lasted more than six months– ok so I was a bit fickle minded, losing interests quickly and getting bored with things that never excited or ignited my passion. And maybe you’re thinking, get a grip and settle down woman! Yes, I am and will get to that in a minute– But what I want to say is you can’t judge your experiences as being bad, I look back and I see now that these jobs taught me important lessons. Sometimes you need to learn the small lessons to make big changes in your life. If my mom is reading this, she’d say I could never hold down a job– but in reality I quit all those jobs before I got stuck in them, I never got fired. Except maybe once when I was 23 working as a Secretary in a boring Contracting company in San Diego and I called in sick because my son, who was 14 months old at the time was sick. Stupid job anyway! And I once had a manager complain that I was too mean to the other waitresses I worked with. Boo frickity hoo.
I promise I have a point! Life sometimes throws many things at you, you surf the waves for as long as you can. And then things finally clicked when I decided to go to art school in 2003. I never knew I wanted to be an artist/illustrator, it was never a dream growing up. I was never interested in drawing until I turned 21, pretty late in life huh? I’m 31 now, its been a long journey and I still feel I have a lot to learn still even though I’m nearing the end of my grad school studies in Visual Development for Animation. But I learned from other people around me that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been an artist, what matters is how fast you learn and the skills that you develop along the way. Being an artist is about working hard and not stopping until you have tried your best. It took me so long before I figured out that I wanted to work in the Animation industry, I’m close, I’m almost there. To be able to tell stories is what I love best, it brings me back to that space as a child when I’d get lost reading fiction. I finally found the one thing I never wanted to quit on, my art and everything that I create.
We don’t want to hear it, but we have to be patient in reaching our goals. Everything is a process, a set of things learned little by little as it accumulates over time to build the foundation of your house. What I mean by that is all your skills building up to make you a strong artist, to be at that place where you’re happy and confident enough in your skill set to tell the world, “Hire me, I’m good enough and I can only get even better.” Grad school or art school is no cake walk. You have to do the work, you have to slave away and practice in your own time and space to develop the necessary skills you need to land you a great job. Talent is nothing if there is no discipline.
I love what I’m doing. I’m working on building my portfolio and sharpening my skills to be in the place that I want to be someday soon. I used to think that school would take so long to do but here I am now just almost a semester away from graduating and finally being done with school for good! I look back at it now and I realize that everything was divinely orchestrated, the lessons I’ve learned in life, working at other jobs, moving to different cities in the last couple of years has all in fact contributed to my understanding and perspective about the world we live in. Has taught me to be a better artist, taught me to be a better ME. No regrets in life so far. I’ve completely accepted the way my life has turned out. I’m still young, my life and what I want to do is just now beginning.
At the end of the day, you have to do what you love– what you’re passionate about, what fuels your fire. Life is inspiring, there are so many things in this world that inspire our art and our writing. The first step is to embrace our creativity and to let go to whatever and where ever it may bring us. Let go completely and unleash your soul or spirit into this amazing world of creating. I promise you it will be worth it.