Brian Reitzell’s music playing, harmonizing with the morning rain. Genius brilliant soul. I have heard his music for years and wondered who this was… funny when you keep hearing/seeing something you love from different sources and come to find out so much of it is by the same person. That’s when you KNOW what you really like.
I bring this up early in the morning because this information- (pretty much ANYTHING I want to know about), is readily available at any time of the day for researching at my fingertips. What an incredible luxury. Ahh… the internet. Instant gratification! I’m old enough now that I smile because years ago I would have been on a manual hunt to investigate in libraries and book stores (in the stores, not available online!) If I really wanted to know something, I had to go searching for that something physically… It meant effort. A quest.
The past few months I’ve researched for my new series of paintings. What I have compiled in even just a few short days might have taken me weeks, years ago. I think about all that went in to research after I got out of college to figure out how to run my business as an artist. I bought books, read magazines, set up interviews, wrote and mailed letters and placed phone calls to anyone I could think of who could help me understand how they were making a living solely doing what they loved. Art college was incredible, but my education was only the beginning during those undergraduate years. After college, I visited galleries and interviewed artists, curators, consultants and just kept going to figure it out. I traveled many places to seek out this knowledge and make my connections. There was no Facebook. You really had to have initiative and balls to go out and meet people. I had as you might have heard the expression “a fire lit under my ass”! It was a great deal of hard work, but very worthwhile! It still is!
But now… NOW we can just look it all up online… we can meet our favorite artists virtually and ask questions and get answers while sitting at home in our comfy pajamas or having a coffee at Starbucks. EXCEPT… perhaps, really feeling organically connected. That takes some work. I think there is something lost in the way we interact, but that probably makes me sound like I’m getting old and grouchy. lol. In all fairness to making my point in this journal entry, the fact is, if you go searching for it, I believe it is there, waiting to be discovered.
Case in point, an email I received a few days ago from a fan arrived on my smartphone. (Gotta love smart phones!) The subject line read: ‘Thank You!’ An emerging artist was writing to send her thanks. After visiting my site several times, she discovered my online public journal. She wanted to let me know it helped her and even inspired her to start her own journal. Here is a snippet from her lovely email:
“I just want to thank you for being so honest and sharing your frustrations and accomplishments in your journal for all to see (as well as your beautiful work). I felt relief and hope to realize that even the most successful artists feel the same frustrations that I have at one point or another. Congratulations on your recent successes and I will continue to follow your career!”
I’ve been fortunate to be able to help other artists along their path. When I receive notes like this from people from time to time, my heart is filled with gratitude. By finding a way to share my story- and being really open and honest about it all (my triumphs, success, struggles, my path and goals, etc) I am able to let others know that they aren’t alone out there. Nothing has come EASY. At least for me. Still, I have been very fortunate along the way. I want to share all sides of the story. Not just the good news. There is a plethora of work that goes on behind the scenes. We may see success (or what we perceive to be success) of another and never know what it took for that person to get to where they are. There is something to be said for mystery, but I believe it’s better to share and help others understand that they too can navigate wisely to achieve their dreams. Having examples and inspirational people in our lives is what helps us pick ourselves up sometimes if we fall. How blessed I am that my story that is always evolving and unfolding can help encourage another!
I want to thank all the artists who reach out and aren’t scared to share and help. Thank you for seeking – and for genuinely being interested in becoming more aware and connected. Sometimes others just need a bit of encouragement along the way.