For the last few months I’ve been drawing and painting like an addict. The truth is, I’ve been a drawing addict since I was old enough to bored in school, but art school wasn’t an option when I graduated high school, and it’s even less of one now. Like a lot of people, I swallowed the mantra that art is a hobby, not a job.
Not too long ago, however, I heard a really happy story on NPR about the health of most of our 401(k)s and IRAs. The upshot was that if you’re middle class and in your 40s, you’re almost as likely to be hit by lightning twice as accumulate enough retirement funds to, well, retire.
The danger of that happening is reaching crisis proportions.
Unless, like me, you’re a Simpson’s fan and are familiar with the term ‘Crisi-tunity’, where in crisis there is opportunity. If you look for it. Sometimes you have to grasp at it like a straw, but I’m good at grasping, and the crisitunity came at a time when upheaval at work had me questioning what I really wanted to do with my life.
Then my sister reminded me of two things. The first was that I had never been able to really stop drawing. The second thing was something universal – the idea that if you can find a way to get paid to do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.
She’s pretty smart for being two years younger – it’s one of the things I love about her. That universal was the opportunity, and, after spending two blissful weeks of daily drawing on vacation, I decided to take that opportunity.
The first step on that journey was to get better.
A lot better.
Everyone knows, the more frogs you kiss, the sooner you get to that handsome prince – or that painting someone wants to put on their wall or in their children’s book. So, I’ve got a nice and growing collection of frogs in my studio right now, and I haven’t slept more than 10 hours since I began feeding my addiction. But I’m pretty sure there’s a handsome, salable prince – or even two – waiting in the stacks of paper somewhere. Finding them may be a big job, but the zietgeist and my sister are very right. It definitely doesn’t feel like work.