Shedding the guilt.

Thank you for this class and referencing Big Magic. Elizabeth Gilbert's book and your videos are a much needed reminder that as creative people our work doesn't fit the norm. We might not have a two worded career title to tell our friends and family. 

Recently, my husband and I have been learning to write and illustrate comics. It has given us such joy and we are very excited about exploring the possibilities in the comic book world. When we were headed to a family function he turned to me and said how nervous he was to tell his family what we have been up to. We both feel that pressure of not having a regular, secure, career path. He has been making music most his life and I have been making art, not easy professions to push as secure to worrying family members. Yet, when we told them how much we love it, they were interested in the process and our stories. We may not be the wealthy, financially stable members of the family, but we are the ones who stir conversations and bring joy to others with our creativity. 

That being said, it has taken a long time for me to let go of the fine art school mentality of what successful means. In art school they see comics and illustration as a low brow art form. It created this guilt in me to even consider exploring my interests in these fields and it shaped these definitions of success that I believe held me back and even made we self-conscious about the work I was producing. 

My old definitions of success as an artist:

  1. I will be successful when I have my paintings in group/solo shows in legit galleries. 
  2. I will be successful when my paintings sell and I can live off the money I make from those sales.
  3. I will be successful when I am represented by a gallery. 
  4. I can say I am painter and nothing else, when telling people what I do for a living.

Me new definitions of success as an artist:

  1. Making art, of any kind, on a daily/weekly basis will make me happy and I will feel successful knowing I am learning and improving my craft. 
  2. Collaborating with my husband and friends on projects will bring a camaraderie and exciting aspect to my artwork and give me the confidence to share ideas. 
  3. I may need other jobs to support my creative lifestyle and I will not feel ashamed of that.

Any comments and advice are welcomed! Thank you for the class and inspiration to be a maker. 

- Jessica

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