Monday, April 8, 2013

Passion.

For much of my life I have had a countless number of people confirm my dream of being an artist to be a "financially insecure" one.  "Yes..you can do it, but you need another job on the side because you won't make any money."  

Cool.  So I need to do something I hate to pay the bills and do something I love on the side.  That is, hate your life 60% of the time and love your life 40% of the time, at best.  I wrote a blog about this in December and referenced Alan Watts, a British philosopher.  I just agree with him so much.  Why not do what you love now, and trust that the money will follow out of your passionate drive.


For me, it's painting.  When I paint, I feel alive.  I feel peaceful, exciting, zoned-in, focused, artistic, creative, masterful, amazed!  It's what I live for in my free time.  I've always done it off and on since I was little.

I get a little encouragement here and there, but mostly people brush off my passion as a hobby, a silly waste of time and money that has no future.  Although it is important to me, most people don't see it.

I took a couple painting classes  at my community college a few years ago and at the University I would schedule one day a month where all I did was paint.

Now that I am on my own and working and living through my heartbeat, I paint quite often and the more I paint the more I want to paint.  In fact, as of January I designated an entire room of my apartment into "Arts and Crafts City."

Over the last month or so I have slowly had more and more people offer to pay me for my paintings.  According to a 5th grade teacher I once had, that means you are a professional.  Family, friends and customers at my first job are coming out of the woodworks to compliment me on my artistic abilities and ask me to custom make a design for them!

One guy in particular blesses me more than he knows.  Every time he walks in my bar he brings up my artwork and how amazed he is.  He has ordered one painting for me and is ready to hit me with another challenge as soon as I get the time.  I know he doesn't realize he's doing it, but every praise and compliment he directs towards my art is like a boost to my soul.  Why? Because art is something rooted deep in my bones.  It's something I have always wanted to do and have always seen myself doing, but never pictured it being serious.  His encouragement to my artwork is like a cool ocean mist, refreshing my spirit.  I need this.

I want you to read this because I want you to think about what makes you feel that way.  What's your passion?

One of my best friends rides motorcycles with her husband every Sunday.  I've only been on a motorcycle once so I really don't know what it's all about, but this amazing woman sure does.  She absolutely refuses to work on Sundays because those motorcycle rides are her way of church.  It's how she feel close to God.  I asked her to explain further and she said she can't.  "It's the warmth of the sun shining on your back, the presence of the Holy Spirit riding with you, and the clarity of being outside.  I don't find that kind of worship inside a church building or at a department store.  It's on the back of that bike where I feel my soul come alive."

Another dear friend of my is extremely gifted in "framing."  What started as a small interest in her retirement years has turned into a full-blown business in her backyard.  Her husband at first was reluctant, but eventually gave in and bought her a warehouse full of framing supplies, which then lead to him building her an entire play-space of framing, cutting, matting, and whatever else she finds to do!  You know it's her passion when she can make it fun.

I went to go see her about framing a picture of mine.  It was a 12x12 print I had been given for Christmas.  I loved the print but I couldn't find a frame to fit it anywhere.  Knowing nothing and caring less about framing, i assumed I would pick between black, brown, and beige wood and she would frame it and I would give her $60.

How wrong I was.  I walked in and she was more alive than I had EVER seen her.  I show her my print and she immediately pulls cyan blue, velvet fuschia, and royal blue from her storage cabinets.  "Wow, I love the fuschia but I think it could be better!  What if we added an orange and burgundy backdrop with a gold inlet frame and crown molding on the edges?  Perhaps a violet or lavender would soften the print, or maybe..."  Wow, I was sucked in.  It was so much fun!  She taught me all about the framing lingo and initially refused my financial offering.  THAT is how I knew she was in it for the fun, not as much for the slavery of it.  She made my print twice as beautiful as I thought it already was originally and I go back to visit her every week with new paintings and prints to frame.  She makes me want to be more passionate about my own thing!

What an inspiring and creative way to worship!  Motorcycles may not be for me and painting may not be for you, but what is your thing?  Whatever it is, do it.