Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Art Blog: BE an ARTIST

I remember a few years ago, I really wanted to finish my Ph.D. in Ed. Technology. I had started doctoral work in 2001, but then after a year I realized I was getting into so much debt, I needed to stop. I loved every minute of this experience. I love learning and taking classes. I excel and that makes me happy. Debt does not make me happy, so I stopped.

A few years later, I decided to try to find a way to make it happen. I would give it a second try. I just needed money. So I called around and made inquiries. I contacted one graduate school financial advisor via email to ask about grants and scholarships. I sent off an email that in condensed form said "HELP ME!" A day or so later, my telephone rang. It was the financial advisor working for the university.

Now before I go on, let me tell those of you who don't know. Financial advisors for universities are almost in the same category as bill collectors or used car salesmen. They are all balls and moxie. They are trained and toned at selling the product and getting you to sign on any dotted line that really isn't in your favor. I answered the phone and started talking to her. She started off by saying "Sheree, I realize you want to find a way to help pay to finish your grad degree, but I saw your artist link on your email. I went there. You are an artist. Why don't you BE AN ARTIST?" There was a very pregnant pause. I could hardly speak or respond. Her statement stunned me. Isn't she supposed to con me into some kind of impossible educational opportunity that will cost me more money than I can make before I die? Instead, words of golden truth came from her mouth. I ended the conversation with a quiet "OK" and left it that.

Flash forward five years: This morning in the shower, I kept coming up with one ART idea after another. I almost jumped out of the shower to grab a pen and paper. I need to write this stuff down! I thought "Wow, I am on fire today! I am experiencing a creative explosion!" The ideas were coming so fast and furious. I realized the cloud of LIFE was lifting. Even though it has only been a few days since I made my U TURN and quit my day job which was sucking the life out of me, the fuzz has already started to turn into crystal. I can see. I am an artist once again.

Now Sheree stands to the plate to drive the point home. For those of you who are artists or have some kind of passion that plays second fiddle to your day job, you have to make it work. I had a dream situation for about 15 years. However, that job changed so dramatically, I lost my artist identity. I brought the day job home. I dreamt about it. I worried about it. It was all consuming. This is not good. In fact, this is not acceptable. So now I have to find another way to support me and my art. I will. Everything will be OK. It will all work out because I have a mind of an artist.

This is my signature painting "Mind of an Artist"
It wasn't planned, it just happened.
I love it so much, I will never sell it.
It represents ME and everything I am.
What is on your MIND?
Click pic for detail


gilda said...

Sheree, I cant tell you how much your writing means to me! I may not respond all of the time but I look forward to all of your installments because they are totally truthful and from first hand experience. I wish at some point all of your writing is published in a book that may be kept in a pocket or purse and brought out for spur of the moment sustanaince!

Sheree Rensel said...

Thank you Gilda. Publishing a book....hmmmmmm It is funny you mentioned that. I had a dream last night. I wrote and published a book. To be honest, I would love to do this, but I don't really know where to start. I have to think about this.

Thanks for your continued encouragement and support.

namastenancy said...

These passionate, impassioned posts could be the start of a book. You could look into the "Book on demand" option via blogger but I don't think there's much money to be made. One thing that's I am learning, as I go through all my junk from the last 5 years of having two studios, is how much work I made "to sell." Because getting to my 2nd studio was time consuming and awkward, I didn't have time to "live" with the work. So, a lot of the pieces are not good enough to keep - and getting rid of them not only simplified my physical studio at home, it simplified my emotional space. I think that I will be a better artist with less pressure and less distractions. I know that is true for you as well - although I'm sorry that you had to leave your job due to administrative harassment. That ought to be illegal because people like you who can work with youth at risk are few and far between.

Anonymous said...

Great post sheree, I enjoy any blog post where I can get an insight into somebody's life. I think all artists have to be brave at some point and believe in oneself. Great painting too, keep up the good work....

gilda said...

publish on demand seems like it would be the way to go. I definitely would order one! I made a small 'test book' via blurb.com to see how they look; it was pretty neat. I think for your purposes Lulu.com might be better....but in any event, find an online publishing situation that will not be so much, if any, out of pocket for you. Your many fans would jump at the chance to have one of your books!

Sheree Rensel said...

Gilda and Nancy, Thanks for the encouragement. Actually, I have already scouted out Blurb and Lulu and the like a few times. I have been thinking for a while about publishing.
The things that stop me is it is just another project that takes so much time. I fear it will be another dead end. Not to sound pessimistic, but it seems with all the time, effort, and energy I have put into EVERYTHING artwise in the past couple of years, something should have panned out. ($$$$$) It hasn't. In fact, I am going through a stage right now in which I wonder if I am dreaming all this. I feel invisible. I don't think I could GIVE my art away.
I don't know what is going on here.