After reading interviews with several of the artists, I started thinking about my own answers to these questions. I decided to use the questions and answers as the content of a series of blog posts.
The first question is a doozy because of the word 'professional'. At first I had a short answer, then an extremely long one. Hopefully this one is just right.
When did you consider yourself a professional artist, and when were you able to dedicate yourself full time to that pursuit?
I consider myself a professional artist now, even though I have yet to make much money at it. However, I have never considered it a hobby. It has always been far more important to me than that. Since I was in my 20's, around 1983, I truly accepted that I am an artist, and it has become a profound journey for me.
During my bohemian youth, for several months at various times, I dedicated myself to my artwork full time. Over the years, in addition to my own art, I have worked at various art related jobs such as framer, gallery assistant, and scenic artist.
By the time that my third child was a toddler, creativity for my own art slowed to a stop. I wondered if one could be an artist and not make art. For about six years I was lost from art. I divorced, gained a new relationship, and became a massage therapist. Then I moved to SW Colorado, and it was there that my passion for painting was reignited. As I developed my massage business, I brought art back into my life and into the lives of my clients.
In 2008 I had to move back to California, and it was clear to me that art had to move to the forefront of my life again. Through of a series of unexpected events I recognized an extremely fortunate opportunity to make art full time which I have seized wholeheartedly.
Now I am painting more and experimenting with acrylic processes so that the quality of my artwork will improve. I am studying successful artists, learning from them, and determining my definition of success, while commencing a variety of art business practices to substantiate my professionalism. I feel obligated to increase the value of my artwork for the many people across the nation who own and enjoy my work, who have and still do encourage and support me.