Saturday, May 3, 2008

Stepping Off The Precipice

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."

~Joseph Chilton Pearce

Yesterday I attended a Professional Development Day at McMaster University for alumni. There were many informative speeches covering topics ranging from conflict management to taking advantage of your best assets, successful branding of your company, etc. There were people from all walks of life, entrepreneurs, marketing specialists, real estate agents, people starting their own companies and others trying to manage their current position effectively.

What pleased me the most is that there were at least three fine artists in the mix...granted, we were in the minority, but I was so happy to see that at least three of us were using this day to enhance and augment our creative careers with the knowledge we took away from the day.

The speakers were quite inspirational and I took copious notes, which I will type up properly and use at a later date to look back upon. A little nerdy, but that's just the way I am. There was a continuous thread of connection that all of the speakers conveyed to us regarding our work: authenticity. If we are not true to ourselves and stand behind our values then our work and relationships will suffer. Standing behind what we believe in will stand by us every time.

I also learned about taking the leap with our lives and careers and that fear will hold us back and staunch our creative fire if we let it. I intend to fight fear tooth and nail because it does creep in from time to time. I think it is human, to feel apprehension about new ventures, especially when money is involved. However, overcoming fear is what got us out of the caves thousands of years ago. Moving beyond fear helps us attain our goals and really, would you want to remain on a boring merry-go-round all of your life versus stepping off and leaving the park to discover what lies beyond the fence?

This month I aim to finish four or five paintings. I have been really inspired by the day yesterday and have created a list of monthly goals to accomplish. I like making lists. Points on a list are made to be crossed off, finished, attained. I usually paint 3-5 works a month, depending on a variety of factors. I keep track of everything that I produce: When I paint it, what size it is, the medium, the probable price of the piece, who commissions it or purchases it, which gallery has it and any other relevant information pertaining to the work. It is imperative to be organized. Besides, I am off to BC on a week's hiatus next month so that adds a healthy bit of pressure to my list of goals.

I look forward to getting out to British Columbia again. It feels like home...I adore the rainy weather (strange but true), the great coffee and of course the mountains. I will visit Salt Spring Island, that mecca of creativity on that side of the country. I look forward to exploring the island and visiting some old friends and some new. I love the laid-back attitude, the fresh air and the great selection of vegan food. It will provide a nice contrast to Newfoundland in September as I hear there is quite the dearth of veg-friendly options there. I therefore plan on subsisting on crackers and oatmeal while visiting The Rock.

Tonight sees a great evening with my friend Melissa. I want to shoot some pictures of her for paintings but the cloudy day might make this difficult. We are heading out for a hike in Dundas, followed by a healthy vegan meal and a movie. She is one in a million. I am so fortunate to know of those serendipitous friendships as a result of working at the same place years ago. She exudes a wonderful energy and can do everything from creating beautiful art to changing the catalytic converter in her car so that's beyond cool to me.

Listening to: Moonrainbow by the Comas

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