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Mefore Aday

Mixed Media Artist, aka Mary Aday
b. Tupelo, Mississippi 1985  

Blog

Happiness is an Understatement: Diving into the Art Business

Posted on March 20, 2016 at 11:15 PM

 


Being an Artist can be a bit overwhelming, sometimes. But being brave and having faith is what life and art is all about! Step by Step the process is quite amazing! 

As an Artist, I am running a small business while, at the same time, I am also trying to constantly get better at my craft, making lots of mistakes along the way, and thinking up and trying to manifest good ideas, while having lots of bad ideas, all the while selling my art, submitting to shows, soaking up all the knowledge I can about art and business. I sometimes feel, I hardly have time to do the other 50% of my life. Which is stuff like my husband, my cat, swimming, hiking, wishing, reading, daydreaming. 

It seems as if I have put the weight of the world on my shoulders, because I tend to think that I can do things on my own, and I tend to think that I can do whatever I want!

 I don’t ask for help very often, which can definitely work against me sometimes. I have always felt most comfortable depending upon myself. I can trust myself. So I have an easy time staying true to myself. 

Everyday though I am reminded of how lucky I really am. Just creating “something” is amazing. I actually get to that every day, I barely make enough selling Art and I am working odd jobs here and there to pay living expenses, but I am doing it! I am really doing it, and I am getting better at everything that I thought was hard before, like the art of self-promotion and using tools like social media and iPhones.

All of which is new to me. 

So here is my attempt to opening up about my personal life! 

Being alone is a luxury and a pleasure to me, it always has been, being from a big family and now, living with my husband who I met and have lived with for my entire adulthood, I have never felt “alone”

That being said, I do have a lot of alone time. I like being by myself, and I relish in an empty room, where I can make myself laugh. I have always enjoyed my own company. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy other humans as well. But I have always loved being by myself, even since I was a kid! I grew up in such a big family that when we did get our own trailer, I knew having my own room was something that a lot of humans don’t get. Shutting a door and claiming a space as “mine” was very powerful for me. I would love to just play by myself and make crazy projects that even as a kid, I knew were "special".

I spent a whole weekend when I was 8 years old, cutting out the before and after photos of  about 40 beauty makeover glamour features that were from my grandma's old Women's Day magazines from the late 80's. I spent so much time meticulously cutting out these women's profiles and then glueing them into homemade construction paper folders and then glueing them all in one long line around my bedroom walls. The idea was that I wanted to be able to walk around the room and look at the before picture of these women who didn't look very happy, open the folder to see the smiling, women with their new hair and make up.


I stayed up late to finish this project and fell asleep once I finished. I woke up excited to play with this new "toy" that I had made. I sat up and looked at my creation and then started flipping through these women's makeover's. Before and After! I was immediately bored, and started thinking "Why did I do this? This took so much time and I don't even like it. But at least I finished it, I guess that says something about me?"

I tore it all down immediately, but I had to live with the color bits of construction paper glued to my walls for years, because I could not remove all the glue. I ended up kind of liking that! 

I remember this revelation, because I wrote it down in my journal! At the time, my Diary! 

 I can be a very social person sometimes. I like going out and seeing people and talking endlessly about everything. My family says that “God blessed me with the gift of gab”.

I am a very open and honest person “in person”. I am just trying to break down some internal barrier to open up more on the internet. I have just hopped on the social media train, and I am learning the ropes of running and promoting a small business that is highly competitive and volatile.

THE ART BUSINESS!!!

I am so lucky to explore who I really am, every day. I don't take this for granted. I only know how good I have it, because I know how hard life can be. Even as a kid growing up in a trailer in the woods in poverty stricken parts of the South, I knew that I could have it a lot worse. I could have been born in a city. For some reason I thought that being a poor city kid would be worse. I also thought that I was lucky to live in the United States, because of the Social Security that it provides to most of my family, including my father, as our sole source of income.

I bought into that "American Dream" as a kid that I watched on 90's TV. I believed that if I worked hard enough, I too could live a life where I paid my bills on time, and the power and the water is always running and the refrigerator always has a snack or two inside. That is really all I need to be satisfied. I guess I really want just the bare minimum of the "American Dream"

Besides this I need a space to be myself and work! I am Happy because I have all these things and more. I recently read something, somewhere online "Happiness = Life – Expectations." It has stuck with me. Living a life without expectations to me, though, means material expectations, things outside of our control. I believe that we should expect a lot from ourselves and our abilities to better ourselves every day.

Here’s what German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer has to say about happiness:

"Happiness belongs to those who are sufficient unto themselves. All external sources of happiness and pleasure are subject to chance."


We've often heard the advice that "happiness comes from within," but when life gets hard, this advice seems a bit trite. I know what it feels like to feel out of control and not be able to really make my life what you want it to be. To be lost, confused, and scared to take the steps necessary to make the things happen that you need to happen. I am still struggling everyday with self-doubt and uncertainty. I also have moments of jubilation multiple times a day, because I am trying so hard and I am learning something new everyday. I think that we are capable of feeling the whole range of feelings every day. No person is just “Happy” or just “Sad”. We are in constant fluctuation. We are in constant movement with our thoughts and feelings. 

I can get very excited easily and I like to celebrate the little wins, like finishing a new painting that I really like or actually going out for a run!  My favorite time is actually starting a new painting.  But I can also overwhelm myself with endless research and organizing of my ideas and notes. I just got an iPhone 4 and it is my first smart phone, trying to stop writing on millions of post it notes and notebooks. I am watching my art business grow in the palm of my hand; it really is quite amazing to be a human these days!

Artists should definitely feel lucky, because of the access to all kinds of art and information that the internet provides. I still have an old copy of The Artist’s Dictionary, which I still enjoy browsing every now and again. But most of my browsing for Contemporary Artists to obsess about, come from the worldwide web. So with that note I will end this blog post. Hoping that I too can contribute something “more” to this world wide project called THE INTERNET!

Let me know what you think about opening up and being more vulnerable on the internet? Is it something that you want to do too? Or if you have any advice or articles to share with me about Writing for Artists please share them with me at [email protected]

Thanks for reading!

Have a Happy Day out there!!! That's no April Fool's Joke!

 


Categories: Why am I here?