Life as a working artist, mother-partner and household juggler is tricky enough that staving off the social pressure of taking a job outside of our craft is sometimes unbearable. When an artist realizes that their art is not a calling, but a chronic insistence of the soul, something clicks. And then - the leap! Artist Meredith Blunt takes us through her journey of fear, viability and the art of happiness. Meredith's fearless work and artistic adventures can be followed here on her Facebook page.
Today, I am glad to be seen as a fearless artist in my home with a tiny kitchen studio full of my paintings and my family bouncing around me. It all gives me such confidence, insight and joy in my journey.
I am glad as it has not always been this way.
For years, my fear told me I would fail, not to waste time. My perception of the world told me that denying my art was the correct choice to make. I lost something to expectation, obligation, and responsibility. Those big, grown up, weighty words that I could not apply to my passion but could apply to everything else like the laundry. I lay down my brushes and put away my box of paints and built a career that brought in a salary, benefits, normalcy, security. In the midst of a happy, normal life I felt lost and unhappy, despite my best attempts to be who I thought I needed to be. I had become useful and viable.
I had vanished.
A long time passed.
Then, one day, not that long ago, that passion which comes from a hardwired mysterious core that is as unique as our fingerprints, became utterly impossible to ignore any longer. Simple, basic pleasure had me put my hand to my still-wet canvas. I savoured the feel, the smell, the touch of the paint. My fear would no longer be the loudest voice. I would no longer be unkind to my honest self.
I learned that living your creative passion does not take away from your viability - it contributes to your life! I am so much more in tune with my family, so much more alive, so much more ME. Much like how relationships found within friendship, marriage, children, family can add intrinsic loving elements to complete the portrait we build of ourselves, Art is filling in the spaces that had been emptied by my own harsh choices. Without painting in my day-to-day, I was absent from my own life.
The price of avoiding failure is worse than the stumble. Failures will come and they can change fears into experience, pain into expressive beauty, change loss into a gain of what you didn’t know before you tried. Embrace them as a greater measure of your quality. They are fuel for passion and big or small, over the course of a life, they contribute to that honest portrait.
Don’t be afraid.
meredith's note to self
I see you.
I know it when I see a kid who sees unicorns in the snow. I know it when I see a kid who hears music and stories in colours. And, I know it when I see a kid, a person, who diminishes themselves because they want to please, they want to fit in, and they're afraid of failing, because they are afraid.
Failing at what?
Afraid of what?
When you get a little older, when you learn a little more, you'll come across the paintings of a woman called Georgia O'Keeffe. What you'll see is colour, bright, strange, interpretative, dissonant, and wonderful. What you'll keep of her is this:
"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do."
It is okay to be scared. We all feel it at times. You are bigger and louder than that fear.
Remember that and always conquer it with your colours flying. They are something to be seen. Don't be afraid.