Greetings and welcome to my blog! In the following entries I hope to document my endeavours, trial and tribulations, highs and lows, as I strive to become a successful working artist.
But before you see where I'm heading, it may be useful to know from where I'm coming from….
A Life Unlived
Like countless others I have met through the Phoenix Studio, so far I have had a life 'unlived'.
For my entire adult life , I have dreamt of being a professional, working artist. What has held me back from achieving this is fear. A fear of trying and then failing; a fear of not being as good as I think I could be. It has crippled me from becoming something, well, ‘more’ and to quote Steven Pressfield, author of the brilliant book The War of Art, I have 'lived a life unlived'. Here's how he introduces the idea:
THE UNLIVED LIFE
Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.
Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever resolved on a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? Have you ever felt a call to embark upon a spiritual practice, dedicate yourself to a humanitarian calling, commit your life to the service of others? ...Are you a writer who doesn't write, a painter who doesn't paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.
Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty... to yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be.
A life unlived. It’s tragic really isn’t it? Instead of pursuing something that I truly believe I could be good at, so far I've found myself living another life, simply because I'm afraid the dream might not become a reality.
So why blog about it I hear you ask?? Because it scares the sh*t out of me and if something scares you then it is probably worth doing (good old Steven).
For almost five years now I have been making ceramic animals; I have improved and had some successes but in all honesty, I have consistently remained well and truly within my comfort zone.
- I have never created enough artwork and done so on a regular enough basis.
- I have never had the courage to truly put my artwork ‘out there’ in front of a wider audience.
What changed is that I took a leap of faith. Actually that makes it sound braver and more dramatic than it really was. Essentially I just ran out of the excuses that had been stopping me from really trying to make it as a successful artist.
I’ll elaborate again…
- With the help of many others, I have grown and expanded the Phoenix Studio into a successful teaching studio. Bookings are going well and business is booming.
- I have begun to recruit people and put systems in place to help make studio life easier and more manageable.
- The tutored weekends I teach are selling out faster than I can organise new ones, and I'm feeling more confident in teaching adults and children alike (though there’s always room for improvement).
- I have equipped my own studio with everything I need to make my ceramic animals.
In short, I simply ran out of excuses not to create. I was left with no other choice but to pursue ‘it’.
Then to throw extra fuel on the fire…
- I got accepted to exhibit at Art In Action,
- my friends Sam and Dave mapped the path of success out for me,
- and I finished creating this website.
The stage has been set. I have my script and a potential audience. Can I provide the entertainment?