Losing my Footing

Sometimes along the creative path, we loose our footing, we take a misstep or we struggle to find our voice, along our way.   My husband will retire from the Navy this week. Twenty-eight years of service, he will be honored and celebrated, and I'll get a paper thank you.  A bittersweet moment, for both of us. 

 My daughter is going to go for her license, soon and I have been trying to find a job.  It is tough out there, but I don't need to tell you.   I need her to be able to get to her extra curricular activities,  and her away performances. Yes, there is a bus, but she has to be at the school by 8 am and picked up between 11:30pm-1am.  I'm applying for all kinds of jobs, but still planning on finishing my poetry book and have an Art Walk coming up.   This is why I haven't been as attentive online, as I hoped to be.  

Honestly, some members of my family think I should give up my art.  I hear every day from some source, there is no $ in it.  I also hear, what a mess I make.  I am a messy artist-yes, I am.   I will also admit it takes a lot of time, to hide all of my creative endeavors.  Ssssh, don't tell...but I have plastic bottles cleaned n' cut and ready to create.  Yes, I made my bracelets out of recycled plastic and panty hose. 

Funny, I do not see it that way, yet I have struggled and haven't made a lot of money.  I guess I couldn't focus on one format.  I received this catalog today, The Land of Nod.   Wow, soft cloth rag dolls made out of vintage remnants, for only a little under $200.  Yes, no money in art?!   An Autistic man was in the news, his paintings were going for $4000.   Yes, no money in that... 

I understand my family-I do.  It is a hobby until it takes off and I need a steady pay- check.   Family thinks I should maybe write and sell my art supplies.  Yes, I will part with some of my things. (It isn't happening-giving up is not my style)   I just won't be so vocal about my art, my writing, and online fun.  I won't change who I am for anyone and neither should you!   Money or not-it is part of who we are.  We have to express ourselves....

"Arguably, no artist grows up:  

If he sheds the perceptions of childhood, 

he ceases being an artist."  -Ned Rorem

"As artists, we are manifesting thought into reality

 every time we create."           -Cristina Acosta

"An artist is an explorer.  He must begin by self-discovery

 and the observation of his own procedures. " 

                                               -Henri Matisse


Give up your art? Would they like you to stop breathing as well? Bet they'd miss those crafty gifts of yours if you gave it up.
Have faith, Ella - you'll find something.
Kay L. Davies said…
Don't give up, Ella. I abandoned my own writing for many years when I was working hard and earning good money, but the well-paid job ruined my physical health, and I've been on disability for 20 years.
Who knew?
Keep it to yourself in person, yes. But share it online with us, because we understand.
And I hope you can get a job you'll enjoy, and where you're appreciated.
Love, K
Mary Ann Potter said…
Aren't you glad it isn't about money? Aren't you glad that your art is about passion? Nurture it, watch it flourish and grow, enjoy it. The money is secondary; I know you know that. A very realistic post today, Ellen. No one has to approve of what you do exept God and yourself!
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Ellie, as one of your number one fans in the peanut gallery, I repeat the wise words you just wrote: Money or not, it is part of who we are.

An artist locked in solitary confinement for twenty years, might not "produce", but he would still be an artist, just a frustrated one.

NEVER give up your art. Art isnt about money, it is about being who we are, bringing forth the gifts that are inside us. Your work is beautiful and amazing. It brings you - and us - joy. THAT is its worth, nothing to do with money.

If you must work for money, then I hope people could respect your right to, in your off hours, produce art for your own joy. It is not about money. Grrrrrrr.

As Kay said, share it with us, we understand.

p.s. dont sell any art stuff. You NEED it!
Sherry Blue Sky said…
p.s. I am mentally swinging a wet rubber chicken in my hands, and am about to hop on my broom and come down there and whap whoever said that upside the head! Tell them: "dont make her come down here!"
Ella said…
Sherry, you made me laugh out loud! He changed his tune, but I know how it goes. No mess, everything in its place. I can't create that way...I will find a way ;D I'm clever like that, lol!
I'm applying for a job out of element and fear I will get it. I will push through it! I love the rubber chicken, but do save it...I know you might need that prank in your neck of the woods! Do I need to come your way-I'll bringing popcorn! I think there is a circus in town, a 3 ring type(okay yours is 2 ring) lol. Thanks for being YOU! ;D (((hugs)))
I won't sell my art stuff, but I do have to lighten the load on my books(maybe ;D) Thank you!!! <3

Mary Ann-Thank you! It is just strange how history repeats itself. My father didn't want me to pursue art-I guess the starving artist theory still lives. I will work somewhere and still do art. It is who I am. I lost it once and became depressed-I won't do that again!!!! (((hugs)))

Kay-I am sorry! Life is a coaster~
How did that happen? It sounds awful... I find it hard not to wonder about the Navy and my health. I almost died because of their neglect. I won't go long here, but 1380 bs, no phone call about my blood work and then all my paper work missing. Yeah, I know my Dr. was suppose to go to the President's hospital. When I came to, guess who sat beside my bed crying-No, not hubby-my Dr. Hubby was packing my suitcase, so we could fly to Anchorage, AK. Yes, keep it to myself and all of you! I like that plan~ (((hugs)))

Alex-Thank you! They say I can, but I have to understand it is a hobby. I wanted more, but I knew it was a hobby. When you get published the first time you submit-well the dream grew. I don't have a big head, but I do have a big mess, lol. Nah, I'll never give up-I'll just be more clever ;D
Thank you Captain!!!

Mary said…
Ella, no one should be forced to give up what they love to do. There are many hours in your day, and some of those hours should be for what YOU want to do for YOU. Don't give any of your art stuff away. That would be like giving away a hand or an eye. Your art stuff is part of you. Sure, be quiet about it there....but you can talk about it here.. Do what it takes to create! It is not about money...it is about sanity.
hibilala said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark Means said…
Definitely stick with your art. It doesn't make a difference whether you make a dime from it....it's yours and helps define you.

When you look back on your life, you'll be able to say "Yes, I did that...I made that..."

Money is nice, but it's not what life is about.

Best wishes with it all :)
Perhaps Shakespeare said it best: "To thine own self be true, and it shall follow as the night the day that thou canst not then be false to any man."

Since art is a very big part of your personality and nature, I would hate to see you give it up. And I have a feeling that no matter what you do, or where you go, you will always be creating something beautiful.

Things never go away, they just change form. You will find your niche, I am sure of it.

In the meantime, God bless, and good luck, xoxo
Grace said…
Ella, this is where you are happy so don't give it up ~ And thanks for sharing those quotes, they lifted my heart ~

Have a happy day & Week ~
Ella said…
Thank you everyone! Are the gremlins at it again...lol. Paycheck was at the end of the paragraph so I put in the hyphen...lol. Oh, well...

Grace-I love that I lifted your heart-you always lift mine~ :D

Canadian Chickadee-I love your Shakespeare quote :D Thank you~
You are sweet and yes, the changing form is what I have to realize! I guess, they don't want me to give it up. I know what I need to do. Straighten up my space and keep my art in one place. It is just hard, when someone else shares your creative space. I dream of my very own studio...
Thank you for your kind, wonderful comment xo

Mark-Thank you! I love the wisdom you shared~ :D You are so right~

YOU all lifted my heart <3 thank you!!!
Ella said…
Hi Mary-I'm not being forced, but I know my family and the way this house runs. It won't be easy to be online as much, etc. I won't give up~ I do have some magazines and books to sell, but actually supplies I won't part with. I will find a way to make it work~ Nothing is ever easy! If it is, well it isn't worth fighting for. ;D Thank you~
Anonymous said…
I can see how your husbands retirement can be bittersweet. But there is a time for everything.

hahaha. Funny how people hide their hobbies. I have to do it sometimes to as my family thinks I go overboard on it.
Hopefully, you'll find something soon that will still give you plenty of time to pursue your art. You're wise not to give up, and all of your talent will pay off.

Amrit Sinha said…
Art should never be evaluated in terms of money ... art is an expression of our heart and soul, money rules the mind ... why combine two different entities?
Mixi said…
Ella - I am new to your blog, so I am not familiar with your art work. However, I do know art is not just a hobby, but part of who you are are a person. To stop doing it, or to change it would be like losing part of yourself. Financial constraints are valid concerns no doubt. But to be truly happy, you need to nurture that part of yourself which makes you You!

Lots of love and sending best wishes your way :-)
Renee said…
Don't sell your stuff! You'll need it & have to go out and buy it all over again!! I agree with Kay, sometimes you just can't share things with people who don't get it. Your art is beautiful. Do what you love, the money will follow.
Wanda said…
Love your determination Ella. Giving up would be like silencing a part of yourselves.
Laura said…
Oh Ella you TOTALLY have to be you! I'm sorry you are in such a difficult spot... everything changes this we all know... and YOU are so very talented.
Vicki Sheehan said…
Ellen, never, ever give up! Art is a part of who you are and without it...well...you just wouldn't be you. And that would be so sad for us : ( I don't make much money creating, but I just know that I would keep going for zero dollars - it brings me great joy and satisfaction and that makes me a better person to be around. Hang in there, you'll get through this : )
Ella said…
Hi Vicki-You are right-thank you~
You are sweet-yes, the joy n' discovery is the best part! I know, just another twirl on the coaster of life! Thank you~

Laura-Thank you! Yes, the dance of doubt enters in my brain. My muse likes to be alone and I worry about finding time. If there is a will,than I will find a way...lol
Thank you, yes I can only be me :D
You are always kindhearted! Hug Ellie for me~

Wanda-You are right! I'm too loud to be quiet, lol. Thank you Wanda I appreciate your advice :D

Renee-Thank you! You are right-I will just be stealth like and find a way~ Thanks Renee for being you! ;D Hope your world is filled with color today~

Mixi-Thank you! Yes, we can only be ourselves~ Besides I wouldn't be any fun, lol. Thank you, I will find a way~ @>--------
You are sweet~

Green Speck-Well said! It is a dance. I am rt brained and live with left brained ;D I will just put my feet in both worlds and see what happens. Thank you! :D

Julie-Thank you! It is like anything we love-no matter if there is money or not, we must do it! ;D I will carry on-thank you!

Stephen-lol, yes this is how it is. Funny though my hubby has half the frog and a whole garage for his stuff. I have half the Furnished Room Over Garage and every nook and cranny I can find! ;D Thanks for sharing-it is nice to know I'm not alone in this creative process!

Emily R. King said…
You're so talented! You give people like me (with no artistic ability whatsoever) something to be grateful for! Keep at it, girl.
Ella said…
Emily-Thank you so much! ;D You are too kind, but I love your words!
Keep writing and smiling!
Susie Clevenger said…
Ella, you are way too talented to not do what you do. So many think success is measured in dollar signs. Your written and physical art add so much to the world! Hopefully you will find a job that will be one where you can use your creativity! Big hugs to you!
Ella said…
Thank you Susie! You made my day~
xo to you @>----------
I hope we can use your photos again for poetry-I love your visual poetry, too ;D