I’ve been officially unemployed for over a year. And I’m incredibly fortunate that I am in a situation that means I can take my time to find work that I can sink my teeth into. A year ago at this time I was creating illustrations with full intention that children’s illustration was my goal. And you know what? I love creating my creatures and animals. I’ve learned to manipulate vectors and colors in ways that make me very happy. But I know that the possibility of writing and illustrating a book are probably not where I will end up.
About halfway through 2013 I read Kandinisky’s manifesto Concerning the Spiritual in Art and created a vector abstract series. And it felt natural. These abstracts led to learning about patterns. Rather than fight it, I followed it. And since the fall, that is exactly what I have been doing. Following. My sketchbooks are filled with leaves and flowers and birds. I’ve explored the clean lines of mid-century designs and studied vintage fabric. I’m very pleased with the results.
2014 has begun creatively quiet. I started a temp assignment a week or so before Christmas that will last until the end of tax season in April. As things get busier and deadlines loom, I’ll be on my feet long hours. I know I’ll be tired. I’ve adjusted to the five day schedule now and my energy to do anything more taxing than making dinner is finally coming back.
Instead of being frustrated that I won’t be able to create and paint as much as I’d like, I’ve learned acceptance. My mantra at work has been “be like water.” This position is a stepping stone. The consistent paychecks are allowing me to pay ahead on my student loans, put money aside for later and keep food in the cupboards. I’m lucky that my husband is in a position that allows me flexibility, but we’re a team and that means shouldering responsibility.
The best thing to happen from all of this following, creative quietness and acceptance? I’m painting. Not just painting, I’ve given myself permission to step away from the computer and spend time on my abstract painting roots. No big goals. No portfolio plans. Just me and the canvas. And it’s really lovely and good.