Becoming an Artist. Part 2
A few weeks ago a woman from the USA purchased one of my paintings online, the Naples cityscape. Nothing unusual in that fact: I’ve had quite a few buyers from the USA.
I packed and shipped the painting promptly by UPS, as the customer had ordered a priority shipping, so it was delivered on time for a birthday party.
When the shipment was due to arrive, I checked it by the tracking number, and the report said “left at the front door”. I don’t know what worried me then, I suddenly thought “Oh, what if a courier simply dropped it at the door and drove away?” So I decided to check the address on the Google maps, to see what was the neighborhood like.
Except there wasn’t any neighborhood. It was a huge manor with swimming pools and what not standing alone in the middle of nowhere. “Mamma mia, who is she”?? I googled her name and found that she is a big celebrity in the States, so big that she had a Hollywood movie filmed about her life story.
A couple of days later I heard that my artwork was successfully presented to an actress who had actually starred in that movie.
Why am I telling this story? No, not to brag or impress, I guess. Just to share a moment of a nice shock, and a milestone - as it definitely was for me.
Just a few years back as I told about it in the Part 1 of my Becoming and Artist story, I didn’t even think of painting as a career. Today, a billionaire chooses to buy my painting out of the huge amount of amazing art that you can find online, and presents it to a world-popular movie star. A bit of a cinderella moment, isn’t it?
The truth is, from the moment I found that old watercolor pan set, and started to play with colors, it gradually took more and more of my attention. I became quite obsessed with it, in a good way. I have learned, and still do, something new every day that I paint. I explore and open new grains of the medium and try to better myself every day. The way I look at things now goes not like “what a nice view, how beautiful” but rather “How do I express this beauty on paper or canvas? What colors and technique do I apply here?”.
It was a long way to go, for me, whose insecurities and self-critique tends to prevail over a self-confidence and natural assertiveness that some people have: the distance from my hesitation to post my painting on Facebook for my friends to see and comment, to the decision to take part in an exhibition, and to winning a first international art competition and being mentioned as a “featured” artist in a few others.
To be fair, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near that if not for my family and friends’ support, as well as the invaluable help and advice from fellow artists with whom I became friends while learning and sharing my successes and failures.
What I have learned though is that there are no boundaries in art, and the limits are only within one’s mind. The little nagging voices that sound in your head asking “Are you good enough? Are you sure you can do that?” - toning them down and not letting them discourage you is a non-stopping battle that I guess many artists have to go through.
But think of this: Do you have creativity and vision? Do you have the burning desire to let them out? Do you see colors and tonal values? Are your hands growing in the right place?
Then do what you want to do, and be what you dream to be.
The journey has just started and there is no destination.
P.S. By the way, you are free to join and I’ll be honored if you do.