Change can be hard. When something has been such a huge part of your life for almost two decades, it can be downright traumatic. My artistic life was always divided. I have a BFA in advertising and a minor in studio art. I’ve worked in the advertising world since 1990. The goal there is not only creative in nature, but you have to please the client, which doesn’t always mean pleasing yourself. I continued to paint as well. This was for me. I could explore any medium or subject that I wanted and only be accountable to myself. It wasn’t until 2004 that I started to take my fine art painting seriously. I began entering shows…and winning. Offers for gallery representation came in. I spent a huge part of my spare time painting, having solo shows and promoting myself.
I was still working a full time day job as Senior Graphic Designer with a national in-house agency within the powersports industry. I loved my job. It was more than sitting at a computer. I organized and art directed photoshoots, including acting as a photographer, writing copy, and for awhile, web design. Unlike most of the advertising business, we held onto employees for a long time, a really long time. We were a family and so much a part of each others lives.
Then changes. Merging with another company. Multiple rounds of layoffs. Our department was spared from the first few rounds, but then we got hit. I got hit. After 18 years with the same company, I was unceremoniously let go. It was strange feeling. I felt betrayed. I had put my heart and soul into that place and into the work I created for them.
It’s been almost a year and a half since then and slowly my heart has lightened. I hadn’t realized how much the stress of working there had affected me physically and emotionally. Routinely working weekends and often weeknights until 2am to meet a deadline only to find someone had changed their mind on the direction of a piece the next day. It was beating me down and robbing me of both time and energy to paint.
I was forced to switch gears and change my primary direction. This isn’t something that comes easily for me. I’m risk averse. I’m the person with two backup plans for every primary plan and assume that something will always go wrong. I began freelancing graphic design services and painting more. I had several solo shows of my paintings. Now I’m launching a new website, this website, to offer prints of my work in addition to my original paintings. My world didn’t end, though it sometimes felt it had. My journey continues and I’m eternally thankful it’s still artistic in nature. I hope you will travel it with me.
If you are interested in reading additional blog posts, please visit my personal blog.
Be warned, though, it emcompasses far more than art-related topics.