Paintball, Detail, Diptych, (2) 48 x 48" / 121.92 x 121.92 cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2010
‘Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor,’ said Cinderella's-mother-masquerading-as-a-tree, and if you're a struggling artist, that's very likely something that still, small voice in the back of your head is saying, too.
That still, small voice is what makes you jump at every 'unlengthy visitor' that comes knocking because well, art is like a video game—the more 'experience points' you rack up, the better for your career and/or your practice.
In a way, that voice, which I guess one might equate with my Daemon, has been 'the boss of me' for a long, long time. I always listened to him for, well, FOMO, I suppose—the fear of missing out on an opportunity to put my skills to use, hopefully sharpen them, and accumulate those ‘art experience points’ in the process.
Or well, I think I should say I almost always listened to him. Because something happened fairly recently that prompted me to say no to the urge to at least push for a whole bucketload of experience points. While I admit that decision wasn’t made without regret, looking back, I think I (//channels the Grail-guarding knight) chose wisely.
I’d like to share this experience with you along with a few words of wisdom (not that I'm wise or anything like that) about choosing your ‘art battles’. Choose the opportunities you commit to, rather than grabbing every single opportunity that comes your way and clinging to it like a long-lost relative (who is hopefully old, loaded and has you in his will (just kidding, so sorry).
I don't purport to know everything. Yet if the little I do know can be of any help, you are more than welcome to it.