To boldly go, or in my case, not so boldly until my hand was forced and I had no other choice.
If I was born with one traight that I wish I could fix it would be without question my inability to make a decision and move forward with it without wavering. Unfortunately for me this is not the case, and it dogs me through every major turn in the road of life that I travel down.
I will never forget the day when my boss at the time, large bank, downtown Toronto banking district, 29th floor of the Canadian Pacific Tower, wanted to ask me to take on a small promotion. She called me for the meeting to address one concern she had about my readiness for the position. "Robert", she said firmly, "You are like a nervous driver who's afraid to change lanes!" She continued, "You need to pass a slow driver up ahead but you are afraid to do it so you just drive slowly behind the slow driver until they finally leave the highway!"
She was absolutely right, best judgement call, most accurate personality assessment of me anyone could have made. And there it was. I'm the Deer in the headlights and the truck is going to knock me right off the road if I don't wake up and make a move.
This would become a pivotal moment in my career and life. I did get the promotion, but it didn't last long. Shortly after when higher ups were making their own critical decisions about staff reductions due to outsourcing and downsizing, my job along with 64 others in my division would be let go and sent off into the world to find ourselves yet again.
Enter pivot point number two.
About a year prior to leaving the bank I had begun creating a website to promote and sell the paintings I was doing in my spare time. Sales were going very well and I knew this was a good thing. I didn't know it would become my career but on that fateful day when big bank decided to jettison our whole department, I was faced with aa decision point that was most certainly a headlight moment. There I stood, with all of my co-workers as they told us how much they appreciated our contribution to the bank all these many years. For a few brief moments I became the Deer in the headlights. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, I had to make a decision and it would impact every area of my life. To brush up my resume and seek a new position at another bank or take the biggest leap of my life and become a full-time artist?
It's been 14 years now, years that have not been without challenges. Would I change that decision if I could go back? Not for one second! For certain the roller coaster life that ensued and continues to this day is rough sometimes, but the rewards are far and away worth the risk. I still suffer from "Deer in headlights" syndrome, lol, and it pains me regularly. I have learned so much about myself through it all and the road ahead is very clearly all about art. Going to the field to gain material, painting it and marketing it every day. It's a life that is not for the faint of heart. If you aspire to be a full-time artist I can only say be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.
It's a decision you will have to follow through with on a daily basis. You will have to self-motivate. You will need to get your blinders on, to look straight ahead and don't chicken out. It would be grand if you have some other source to maintain your income, such as a well-paid spouse, trust fund or some other source like that. If you don't, like me, it will be lonely sometimes.
Be beave! Be sure! Pray for Gods direction and provision. Most of all, enjoy your wonderful decision!
The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.