Following the Passion

The topic of following your passion has come up in many conversations lately. Jonathan Manning and I discussed it a few months back when we did our dress rehearsal for his show, I’ve discussed it with my friend Jane, a couple of coworkers and then my friend just wrote about it on her blog.

The reality of following your passion, the one thing you really enjoy in life is that it doesn’t come easy to all of us. For me I’ve had a passion all my life- art but life and reality made it hard for me to follow that passion. My entire life I’ve called myself in some manner an artist but was unable to follow that passion through its natural and inevitable course. In my case I needed to find my niche.

I’ve painted and drawn my whole life. Behind the scenes I’ve written my whole life. Granted I know I’m not a great writer, I’m sure I’ll always be adequate but never great. I’m cool with that. As I’ve embraced the art journal as not only a primary art form but also to wrap my secondary career around I’ve found what is in part my passion. Not just art but a specific part of art- the sketchbook/visual journal/ art journal and the making and keeping of them.

Find that passion, that solitary goal, fills my life with purpose. Teaching the art classes online, doing the UStream show and now working long wonderful hours on the zine has filled my head with hopes and dreams and drive, long dormant ambition wells up when I think about these things I’m doing. I think to myself “I will win at this.” It’s a cool feeling after not really caring about much these last few years.

When Jonathan and I chatted he put into my head about how pursuing your passion can open doors* in your life that were seemingly unattainable. Pursuing your passion makes you happier, more energetic and life seems more vibrant.

On the flip side of that is that sometimes the current situation can be almost unbearable. You can feel stuck in the rut of your current life. For me, though I love my DayJob Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s are nearly unbearable reality checks. Monday night I normally have my UStream show. I spend the evening talking about art, demonstrating art and immersing myself in art. Then Tuesday evenings I have my drawing class. I spend that evening discussing drawing, the zen-like state one can achieve from drawing and again immersing myself in art culture. I love all of that. I won’t tell you about Thursday’s zine meetings.

For me spending the evenings working on the pursuit of my passion, my dream of spending my days working on art and art related things it both a gift and a curse. I see how wonderful the evenings are personally then to return to the constraints of my DayJob is difficult though I enjoy the actual job and the people surrounding the job. I just hope that the next year of DayJob remains as enjoyable as it’s been in the past.

*On the whole opening doors bit. I was sent to a conference for my DayJob and was able to meet a woman from the University where I want to pursue my Master’s degree. Our conversation quickly turned from the DayJob to art and education, as it’s clearly both our passions. I choked out a brief bit about and gave her the website address and will follow up with her shortly. Something I clearly need to practice it my ability to talk about the stuff I’m passionate about- AJ Ning, the Zine and Art in a coherent manner. My stutter came out hard core during the conversation.