Gratitude on the Gallery Wall
My life as an artist started well into my childhood, leading me to art honors upon graduating high school, followed by studying studio fine arts in college. I gigged and created from my years in school into my young adulthood. In 2016 I was given the opportunity to step away from my art path, and towards a more traditional career in event design and coordination. At the time I had already been working part time coordinating with non-profit and art related events for the co-working space Converge Denver. I loved the connection to community, and the act of creating an experience. So, when a position came to the table from an amazing design house offering a large steady paycheck and highly designed experiences, I jumped at it. But just as soon as I jumped in, I jumped away from my own art and voice. It was wonderful experience, but the 16 hour days paired with weekly travel wasn’t a sustainable path. I worked for two years with different powerhouses in the Colorado event industry trying to find my fit, always looking back at my studio with longing. It became clear that life without art was not really living for me. I needed creation to be central to my journey.
I seeked other positions and contracts in the event world, trying to find the right fit to give me creative balance. I started trickling in art between jobs that never blended well with my life. I even launched Go Gogh Party in 2017 before taking on a role at a new venue. But with every position art to fall to the back burner once again. I gingerly worked and built my brand and hosted a paint party here and there but my full time event work drained much of my creative energy. That was when it came to a breaking point in early 2018. I swallowed my fear of a pay cut and took a part time job as a receptionist as I dedicated my energy and focus towards creating a thriving mobile studio business, art workshops, and commissioned art/murals.
It wasn’t easy to build back up a practice of creation. My habits and process had been set aside for only a couple years, yet I felt like I had no idea how to create art anymore. Teaching was probably my most useful tool in regaining my practice. I simplified what I created, revisited the basics and learned to convey these skills. I began lesson plans, paint parties, tutoring and building a simplified portfolio of paintings that took less than two hours to create for my mobile brand. It wasn’t conceptual work, but it was certainly creative work and it filled me with energy. Abuzz with creativity, I began taking on commission art by way of murals, pet portraits, live painting, landscapes, ect.
It was a thrill to have art filling my daily life once again, but I was still trying to redevelop my voice. I explored new media, life watercolors, and sketched random images that amused or peaked my curiosity. After a year of play, the ideas came. More personal than the work of years past and with a more skillful hand developed over this year of practice. I only acted on these ideas shortly after I was invited to showcase with Spectra Art Space. I took it as a sign to create. To create work that was soulful, new and representative of where I have developed as an artist. I threw myself into the work and it was bliss. I became lost in the creation and came out the other side to a packed and enthralled opening night. So many people felt the work, connected with it, reminding me of the power of art, and why I create it.
My heart is joyful post exhibition opening. Filled with gratitude for the friends that came out in support of my work, for the connections I made with the crowd, and for myself in creating work I am proud of.