Challenge as a Creative Influence

“Turn every challenge into a jigsaw. Before you know it, all these pieces add up to something pretty amazing.”   Peter Bray

I am not sure if every challenge I face artistically always leads to something amazing, but I do appreciate those challenges as an influence leading me to the next step.

When I retired from teaching I made a decision to spend more time working with watercolor. I had “dabbled” in watercolor on and off for many years. Working full time, having responsibilities for family and then finding time for painting was truly a challenge. Once retired, I went back to art classes for growth. The challenge for growing and expanding practice became a creative influence as it lead me to a number of opportunities for learning. Skills were rusty, transitioning to actually having time to paint raised challenges to when, how, what to focus my attention. Not only did I work and practice to alleviate some of those rusty skills but the people who were in those classes and workshops spurred me on and provided community.

Photo by Stephen Lewis

When I faced the challenge that my home not being conducive as a studio, the challenge led me to finding a reasonably rentable space. That studio is today my “home away home.” It felt indulgent to rent space but I came to realize if I wanted to be serious about painting I needed to solve that challenge. This later led to a studio name, website, and a Facebook page for Artscape Studio. Having a studio brought many creative influences with other artists who occupied other studios. My studio provided a space to quietly and in solitude consider what was influencing me in a painting.

A challenge I currently face is selling work balanced with creating work. My artist community has expanded and three artists in the community and I are collaborating in having an art event/sale next weekend. We call ourselves “The Four Artistas.”  I am looking forward to the experience of selling art at this event with three other artists. If all goes well we will do this collaborative sale again.

These challenges plus many others have influenced where I am today. Some challenges are very much central as being a creative influence. I am sure that the next generation of challenges will influence where I will be in the future. What I am learning is that vision, persistence, courage, and hard effort are also part of the journey. So, perhaps my transition from the middle school classroom to the studio has been “pretty amazing.”

I leave you with are the following questions:

  1. Do you see struggle as the road to opportunity?
  2. Do you learn from your failures?
  3. Do you seek to get up to bat as often as possible?

Thanks for reading!