Reflections a Year On...To Be or Not To Be?

Just over a year ago, I took a big plunge - instead of looking for another "day job," I committed to doing my art full time to see what could happen. Thirteen months later and what a journey it has been - and continues to be! I'm still plugging along, but also taking some time out to pause and reflect. 

Anais Nin quote overlaid on a detail from my 2011 painting, Blooming.

Anais Nin quote overlaid on a detail from my 2011 painting, Blooming.

As you might imagine, I had a lot of fear and trepidation around making this risky decision. Do I deserve this opportunity? What if I'm not good enough? What if I fail? What will other people think of me? It's not an easy career being a working artist, and I continue to struggle with many things, not least of all with self-doubt. But then I remember the above quote, and I realize that this decision was made for me - becoming an artist picked me, not the other way around. 

Quote from an interview of Sam Bennett with Antrese Wood of The Savvy Painter podcast; overlaid on top of my 2011 painting, Wave. 

Quote from an interview of Sam Bennett with Antrese Wood of The Savvy Painter podcast; overlaid on top of my 2011 painting, Wave

So now I ask myself different questions: What's the worst that could happen (by being an artist)? Am I letting anyone down? Would life be as rich and meaningful if I didn't paint? What would I be depriving the world of if I suppressed my creativity for a more "responsible" career path? 

I understand that I am very privileged to have this opportunity. But I also know that I work hard at it. That it will never be easy. That I have chosen a path with no clear trajectory. And that I would have it no other way. 

Have you ever been in a situation where the risk became less painful than avoiding the risk? What did you do? What happened? Feel free to share your comments below.