Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Soggy, Croaky But Satisfied...

It was a wet, cold miserable long weekend here in the Maritimes. We got over 4 inches of rain on Sunday and I kept checking the street to see if any animals were lining up two by two anywhere! Luckily, though we did get quite the pond in the backyard, it didn’t come near the windows to my basement office. We ran the pump for a tiny bit just to get some of the pond water out to the front of the house. I can see a bit more terra-forming in our summer plans!

The girls and I have all been fighting horrid colds and sinus infections, so we’re a coughy, croaky bunch. Maybe it is all the cold and damp that have made this start to 2005 so wicked for germs. We seem to all be on the mend at last, so perhaps it was better to have a quiet weekend indoors after all. Nick couldn’t tackle any of his outdoor projects, but did replace the taps in the kitchen and upstairs bathroom. Our house is now almost 17 years old (we’ve been in it for 14 years now) and so we’re getting into that fix it or move stage. Nick often laughs when I insist on staying partly because of all the early leaflets out there with our street address on it rather than the PO box. I’m also just getting my backyard to where the perennials are nicely balanced and would hate to have to start over with just a square of green grass!

It was very ironic that on the same night as the American Idol finals, I went to speak to Erin’s Girl Guide troop about what it is to be an Artist. One of the Second Year badge components has the girls learning about what an artist’s work/job entails, so I brought along my portfolio and shared some artwork with them. I say ironic, because here were two young people who had spent the past 6 months singing their hearts out in front of the public eye to win a title that would bring them fame, fortune and probably great riches. I actually used them in my talk to the girls to explain that when you really want to do something, even if you have a lot of talent, it still takes work, practice and lots of determination. It doesn’t just come magically. I also pointed out that for every famous person who becomes a “Superstar”, there are lots of other people who make a perfectly good living doing what they love as their job.... singing in a production on Broadway, doing back-up vocals, putting on shows on cruise ships or at theme parks (I can almost hear Simon’s comments now!) The point I was making to the girls is that with any creative job such as acting, singing or art, you have to work at perfecting what it is that you do and sometimes making your OWN way to get noticed rather than waiting for someone to “discover” you. A very big part about making a living from your talent actually has more to do with being able to look after the everyday things like paying bills, collecting on accounts, sourcing new clients or promoting yourself.

It was incredibly satisfying to sit there and share with them that I first decided to “draw pictures for my job” when I was 11 years old.... almost 29 years ago. It hasn’t always been easy or as lucrative as some people imagine, but I have been blessed to do what I love to do for my career. Sometimes I use paint, sometimes I use the computer and sometimes I use thread... but I have created images that have made me smile, touched other people and will last longer than I do.

That is what I always wanted to do as my job!

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