09 October 2009

life + life = life

I decided something today: I want to be the person to ask business majors what their back-up plan for life is. I read a little Chelsea Talks Smack today {language caution, but she's brilliantly real and unfiltered, if that's your thing} and I love what she says here:

No one ever asks a med student, "So what are you going to do with your life?"

...because obviously, the answer is, be a Doctor.

Why should the answer be any different for an artist? If you create art, then you'll be an artist. If you want to be a teacher, you will teach. If you want to be a lawyer, you will go to school, you will be a lawyer. For some reason when it comes to a profession that has a shaky monetary value, at best, or lacks an outline- it makes people nervous. It makes people question your sanity, or scoff, or treat you like a child- like you're irresponsible and naive. You're the joke. Then comes the onslaught of questions...."So, what's your backup plan? What if it doesn't work out? How does your family feel about this? Well, don't you want health care?? Are you on drugs?" etc. etc.

Choosing to follow a passion that doesn't have a safety net, or a ladder to climb doesn't mean it's impossible - it simply means you'll find a way to make it work, or you'll give up. There is no grey area. And how you define "making it work" is up to you ... You will be laughed at, you will be jeered, you will be doubtful and you will then lick the wounds, and walk a bit taller.

My back up plan? I don't have a [expletive] back up plan, because when you things get hard, which they always do-in any profession, that "back up plan" BECOMES the plan. It's a cowardly way of giving up. Of surrendering under the pressure of other peoples ideals and expectations of your life.

Love her + her thoughts on this. I started thinking down this trail when I started working on a new website this week {an early birthday present from my dad - super awesome!} I told one of my best friends about this new project, and he replied, "So you're going to start selling your paintings?!" And he was REALLY excited about that idea {props to my awesome friends for being supportive.} I just thought ... do I wanna make my website about selling paintings? Do I wanna make my LIFE about selling paintings? And suddenly I was sucked into my usual vortex of insane over-thinking {we're talking ... laying awake at night after working a 12-hour day and then waking up at 4 am to think some more ...}

I feel like by defining my public image on my website, I'm defining myself - my values, my beliefs and my goals. Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? Do I want my life to be about more than selling paintings and prints? In asking myself questions about my upcoming website, I've been asking myself questions about my upcoming life, too.

{about paintings and selling them: i love painting. LOVE it. but when i look at what percentage of my time is ever, or has ever been, spent painting, it doesn't follow that the next portion of my life will be devoted to selling them. i mean, i probably will, but that's not going to be my focus. but really, the largest percentage of my time has been spent playing the piano in a room by myself, so what the heck does that mean??}

It seems really intense {my friends can laugh and understand that that's just part of who I am}, but I've been led up to this moment by so many events over recent months, and by people who have crossed my path.

What am I waiting on? I've got a life to live {and not a ladder to climb}.

PHEWSH - that was my diatribe from my last few weeks of life. Thanks for reading to the end {if you did!} If you made it to this point, I'd like to offer a lovely image as a reward. You guys are the best!

best door - memphis tennessee


  1. Playing a piano in a room by yourself: may mean that you make a CD of your music (I would buy like 50 copies :) )and then, paint to it...
    You'd be surprised at how much your piano playing causes one to think (well me, at least) :)

    Have I ever told you I want to grow up to be like you? :) I know that sounds weird and a little silly, but really...it's true.

    You inspire me miss Holley :)
    Never forget that.


  2. Aw, LB ... you are my blessed jewel :] I heart you so much! Thank you for always encouraging me. I'ma go write this on your facebook, too. I need to see your face SOON, okay? And ... I might be writing new music to be recorded. Maybe. :]

  3. I BETTER be seeing your face soon!!! I miss you WAY too much!


  4. i would buy ur cd's and ur paintings too :) i already have one proudly displayed in my room! :) ppl r like 'oh, do u paint?' and i'm like PAHah ah aha haa no....but my brother does... :-D <3