I hate to say it , but I think getting sick was exactly what I needed. I have been non-stop for a year now and my body and mind finally broke down on me. This time last year I was planning my wedding and that's really what led me down this path I find myself on today. I wanted our invitations to be unique, and I had just learned how to paint in Photoshop, so I painted this scene of a couple kissing under an oak tree with a colorful sunset. That project sparked a passion in me to create again and I have been creating non-stop since then. This eventually led me down the path to pick up my camera again and you can see the progression in my work to a more painterly look, but I think this technique has always been apart of my work. A lot of my work earlier this year involves selective coloring, which is basically "painting" the areas you want in black and white versus color by using masks.
Once I got into the gallery, then I really had to push myself. I'd work at my regular job from 8-5, then come home and work on projects until I was too tired to see the screen clearly anymore. The one vacation I took this year was to Savannah for my birthday and I spent the entire weekend with my camera in hand. There was no missed opportunity to work and it finally caught up to me. I was so sick that I literally slept on and off for 4 days. I didn't do anything. I didn't leave the couch. I didn't even think about art projects.
When you're passionate about something, it doesn't feel like work. And anyone who has found passion in something, whether it be art or anything else, understands that once you find that passion, it can be difficult to stop thinking about it. Sometimes I find myself lying awake at night because I can't stop thinking about it. I'm so lucky to have a husband who understands this. He's a drummer and he's constantly drumming....on the dinner table...on the car dashboard....on himself. And I absolutely adore this about him. It drives some people crazy, but I actually love it. I love that he's passionate about something and it makes him happy.
I think passion is important, but it's also important to let yourself rest. I know it can be hard to do sometimes, but you can only push yourself so far before your body eventually shuts down. Before I got sick, I was going through a bit of a creative funk. I had no ideas coming to mind and I was freaking out. Then all those negative thoughts started rolling through my head and I started feeling a bit down on myself. I think there is always a lingering fear of failure that everyone experiences from time to time. Most people don't go after their dreams because of that fear. They go to the same miserable job, day in and day out, because they are afraid to take the chance to change it. I don't want to spend the rest of my life stuck in an office. I want so much more than that. I may never be rich and I'm okay with that. I never cared much for expensive things anyways. Most of my clothes come from thrift stores! Not that there is anything wrong with wanting nice things...it's just not what motivates me.
I finally started feeling better on Christmas day and the ideas started flowing again. I'm so excited about the possibilities of the new year and I can't wait to get started on some of these projects. Some will be challenging and may be difficult to complete. But I've learned a valuable lesson....it's okay to take a break and enjoy life. Because when you come back to the drawing board with a fresh mind....the pieces seem to magically fall into place.