Making art was the most important thing to me, so why did I stop creating for a decade?
Art school was a wonderful experience, I love my alma mater, my years there were inspiring and fulfilling. As much as I value my education, art school did not prepare me for the realities of being a professional artist.
Until recently, I don't think any art schools taught students the business of being an artist.
It isn't surprising then, how many people with fine art degrees, never make a career out of it. We weren't armed with business skills, we were taught how to conceptualize our work, how to make the work (hopefully), how to write about it, and how to critique the work of our classmates.
This lack of practical knowledge wasn't the only reason I stopped making art. I told myself a story about what it meant to be an artist and that story consisted of several limiting beliefs that I accepted as facts.
These "facts" became my excuse and it was easier to stop making art, find a more clearly defined career path and focus on other aspects of life.
When I finally did return to art, I was in my 30s and had a full-time career in marketing. I stopped waiting for inspiration, stopped making excuses and began to realize those old beliefs were not true.
It has been a slow process that has taught me a lot about myself and what it means to be an artist. During the years when I wasn't making art, I felt like I was hiding part of myself. I felt like no one really knew me because I didn't completely identify with the person I allowed myself to become.
I hope that sharing my experience will help others return to art.
If you relate to any part of this journey, I encourage you to share your experiences here as well.