Thursday, December 3, 2009

It has begun...!

"Three Swimmers", 30" x 30", oil and encaustic on wood panel
As you know, this past year I have been seriously contemplating becoming a full-time artist and have been trying to figure out how to go about doing that. I have talked to a few fellow artists and have gotten their advice. I have also been discussing this with my significant other to get his thoughts and feedback since, if I fail, and I don't plan to, he would be supporting the both of us. After all of this talking, I've come to the realization that I was never going to take the plunge since I still had the safety net of my day job. It's easy to talk about quitting and just painting in theory and do little to nothing about it when I had a steady paycheck coming in. So yesterday, I finally got the nerve to do something about it. I walked into my Principal's office and told him I was quitting at the end of this school year! It was terrifying and thrilling all at once. I was tired of thinking "what if I fail...?" and other such similar thoughts that kept my dream from becoming a reality. I am now ready to take the plunge.

Now granted, quitting my job in June isn't as scary as quitting it now, but I have a plan. I have figured out how much it would cost to pay my bills for a whole year (in order to be safe, I did not take into account Ben's paycheck contributions or potential art sales and just figured out what was needed as a household to survive year one). This is the amount of money I have to at least have saved by the time my last paycheck comes in, in August. I subtracted the amount from what I already have saved and divided it by the number of months I have left until that dreaded last check. Once I took a look at that amount, it did not seem as overwhelming. I figured I could worry about year two another time.

Next was to come up with some monthly goals that were easily attainable. This is a working list that I will be adding things too as I come up with them. For now, here are my goals/ list of things to do EVERY month:
1. Research and email 5 galleries a month that I think would be a good fit. I have a compiled list of galleries to contact that keeps growing but have yet to email them. 5 seemed like a workable number to contact and not feel overwhelmed.

2. Write and post on my blog at least twice a month. I haven't been very good about chronicling my adventures into artworldom partly because, a) I haven't been doing much to promote my career, and b) I kind of felt like I had to write a masterpiece each time. I've decided that I should just write. Yes, keep the information useful, but write about as much as I can regarding what I am doing with my art. I promise to never write about what I ate or about what movie I watched unless it is revelant to my art career!

3. Go to as many gallery openings as possible. There's nothing like networking to get your career going, and getting inspired by other artist is nice too. While I am at it, I should also get on the mailing list for these galleries and also on the lists of artists whose work I like.

4. PAINT, PAINT, PAINT. With my full-time job I realize that I can't paint as much as I'd like to but I should paint a minimum of 15 hours a week. 20 hours would be preferable.

So far, this is it. It seems very doable and I am excited to actually be starting the path to becoming a full-time artist! I'll keep you posted on my adventures, I'm sure.

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