It’s been a couple of weeks past the one year anniversary of when I picked up a paintbrush again and started painting after a decade. What an incredible year it has been. I’ve learned so much, and met so many people all because I started painting again.
This spring I participated in the Belchertown Art Week and displayed work publicly for the first time since 2007. This summer “Smashed Cars” was in a group show at Gallery A3 in Amherst, MA. As of a couple of days ago my prints have gone on sale at Made It! Plymouth’s coolest waterfront art shop. I’ve sold some originals (I tend not to because I miss them when they’re gone) and a bunch of prints to a variety of interesting and really cool people who appreciate my paintings.
The most important thing I’ve learned through all of this, and it sounds obvious but it took me my whole life to really understand, is to do the thing you know you were meant to do. Don’t dress it up into something you’re not to try and appeal to more people (painting countless Fenway Park murals), or achieve a level of respect from some imagined elite class of critics (painting countless large abstract paintings), or force yourself into a mold that works for somebody else (graphic design, which led to web-design, which somehow led to CRM database management, and a whole host of other creative adjacent work) .
When you see happy people, that is success. It’s not the other way around. And when you see a happy successful person, it’s because they are doing what works for them. The reason it works for them, is that it’s true to them. What will work for you, is being true to your nature.
I’m finally able to see how truly listening to my own instincts about what I want to do moves me into the place I want to be, instead of listening to all of the people who’ve got other opinions about what I should be doing. That only gets you places they want to go. I get it now. I’ll do me, you do you, and I’ll be the first to celebrate and encourage you when you do!
Thanks for sticking around this long. I can’t wait to see what happens this year!