This is my life on wheels: stuffed full of papery piñatas, careening along, headed who knows where.
What is success for an artist? Or more precisely, what does success look like for me?
If I am not willing to make some definitions, to set some, dreaded word, goals, will I get "there?" If I don't have a clue where there is, is it enough to "follow my bliss?"
For a few years, charting a new path in the domestic dimension of my life has determined most of the path I have been trekking: selling a home, buying a new one, moving and balancing a new kind of daily life, different than my city life of King William. The rest of the time was defined by other almost-automatic steps, once the new house and studio were in place: starting my workshop/retreats here at El Cielo, closing Textures gallery. And the rest of my time has been taken up with the things that are on automatic repeat status: the teaching stints at Southwest School where I am an established adjunct, King Ranch Art Camp for a week in the summer, being an active member (now President) of FASA.
Then, last fall, two consulting projects came along that seemed a good fit for my life (and my rapidly diminishing savings account): Dora and Diego's Garden Adventure and the Botero Family Days at the branch libraries. My friend and partner in art ed stuff Zet Baer was available and off we went. And then a crazy plan to spend three weeks in Italy!
Now, mid April, nearly, all the chickens are heading home to roost. For the next four months my calendar is chock full of activity - weekends blasted, travel bleary, wild woman on fire. So, success. And money, at least a bit, coming in. And time squeezed in here and there in the studio. Even art in a few local and regional exhibits (but note, these opportunities to show my work came to me -- I didn't apply or send out a proposal or write any letters, I just said yes).
I figure I can either continue the mode of planning/notplanning that has gotten me through these last two years, or imagine some active, precise images of what I'd like my life to look like in five years. I'll be 59 in about three weeks, 60 seems an almost impossible age to be, but I am counting on it!
Deep breath. It's scary to write outloud about goals, don't you know. "Someone" is going to think me big-headed. "Someone" is going to think I have a lot of nerve. "Someone" is thinking you gotta be kidding. And "others" are going to wonder why I would ever tell everyone reading this blog about my plans. And "they" are going to think I am some kind of idiot. (Did you hear the Drudge report on NPR about "the someones" in Katie Couric's interview with the Edwards?) So, despite all that from the arena, here goes, 5-year targets:
Art/Quilts -- I will make more art and sell my art. I will see my work in a couple of national exhibits a year, including some of the prestigious juried shows. I will have a solo show in a good gallery somewhere. I will see my work published in national magazines and journals. I will earn $25,000 a year selling art. (NOW that's a leap, my inner critic is yelling.)
Teaching -- I will have eight successful sold-out workshop/retreats a year here at El Cielo. I will continue teaching at Southwest School of Art and Craft, but with fewer on-going classes. I will teach at three prestigious national schools, conferences or events each year -- places like Arrowmont, Split Rock, QSDS.
So what gets in my way? Fear. Saying yes to things that don't add up. Being disorganized with time and money and paperwork.