More than ever, I am feeling the pull to be 100% artist. Over the holidays, I did some calculating and I am a year and a half away from paying off all my student loans. Plus, I have settled into the feeling of uncertainty that making a big change brings. I even notice that I'm less afraid.
I made this cool thing in my sculpture class in November. I haven't shared it yet because it's not that easy to photograph, so I wanted to try to do that some justice. Of course, it's even better in person, but this will have to do for you for now.
This is made of an old Psychology 101 textbook. I found it in a 'free books' box in the hallway at my day job. I love how easily it opens flat. I knew immediately it would become art, but it wasn't till I was asked to make a 3-dimensional piece using a "medium of choice" in the class I took last semester that it found its calling. Of course I had to make something out of paper, and my teacher encouraged me to do something I've always wanted to do.
Enter the work of Su Blackwell, a British artist I've admired for a while, whose work inspires me every time. If you click on this link, you will see how very much I've taken her idea and run with it: http://www.sublackwell.co.uk/portfolio-book-cut-sculpture/
The timing of this piece is what made it particularly meaningful for me. I've worked in the Psychology department at the university since 2007(!). I enjoy the work and it's a great fit for my skills, particularly getting to work with young people as they navigate their college journeys. You know I'm detail-oriented, and that translates to my non-creative work in many helpful ways. It is a good job with a good office culture, a steady paycheck and benefits, free tuition for one class each semester, and I feel like I'm making a difference.
I am so incredibly grateful to have found a job with all those good things about it. I'm comfortable there, I'm good at it. I like it. I'm in the little, warm, inviting house. And yet, this job it isn't my calling. Recently, I've felt a more and more pressing urge to run out of the little house, jump into that hot air balloon, and fly away to have a completely new adventure!
But is it responsible to do such a thing? What about changes in the wind? What about the unknown? What about warmth? What about the guilt I feel for longing to not do my university job?
I am holding my choice in my hands. I'm sure I'll get in that balloon. Like I said, I'm not feeling so afraid. But I do have some more work to do to improve the flying conditions. And a promise I make to myself is to not require that the conditions be perfect, because they never will be.