Thursday, March 24, 2011

At What Price?

You know, when I began this online Journaling Journey I did it purely for myself, not really sure if anyone would ever look at or read any of it, and not really caring one way or the other.  I'm keeping it real here and no offense is intended... and it has been a pleasant surprise to meet so many Dear Souls, such as yourself, that actually take the time to visit and even tell me how much they enjoy coming to see what I'm sharing. I didn't really expect this though and the bigger the audience, the less private thoughts become... so it was with some hesitation that I have posted certain thoughts or feelings or even photos.  Should I or shouldn't I?  At what price... because everything has a cost. 

I had determined to share my Heart and a bit of my Soul on here, as a way of being cathartic and a release of thoughts, ideas and feelings... because what I do and what I Love are deeply personal to me and sorting it all out is at times challenging and a process. But I am not usually one to place myself in a position of vulnerability and since this was out there, well, there is a certain amount of vulnerability in being transparent and real publicly isn't there?  Also, things have a way of taking on a life of their own and sometimes transforming into far more than you expected them to be... and therein, for me at least, often lies the dilemma!  But then when people could relate... and let me know that they often share in these thoughts, ideas and feelings... well, I decided that this could be a good thing and I no longer feared the success of Blogging and 'going public' with my innermost topics.

And that brings us to the actual topic of this Post... and what I've been wrestling with for some time now and still don't have a difinitive answer about... I do, but needed to fully embrace it and have a total Peace about it!  An area of my Life that is very enriching, personal, passionate and yet has an aspect of fear I'm recognizing and is oh so familiar!  My Art... and whether to take it to the next level... and at what price?  I've done it as merely a Hobby for years now you see... and began purely for myself, not really sure if anyone would ever notice or care... and not really caring one way or the other... are you noticing a pattern emerging here? *winks*  I love Art, I always have... but I always did it for ME... yes, it was a self absorbed endeavor and form of personal expression that I have thoroughly enjoyed for as long as I can remember.  It took me a very long time to call myself an Artist, because I always thought of Artists as Professionals who make and sell their Art as a living.  Sure, you hear about the Starving Artist, but I wasn't really sure if that just meant they weren't successful at selling their work, no matter how fabulous it might be, or that they just did not make enough of it to sustain a living regardless of demand?  Supply and demand... it always fuels the market regardless of the product.  I didn't intend to sell my Art, it was never about monetary gain for me and so I felt content to just do it when I felt like it for myself... or to give as gifts to those who mean something to me and so giving a part of myself in the form of my work just made me feel good.  Yep, it was still all about ME! *Smiles*  I like wearing my own creations because when you create something a part of yourself is in the piece and naturally you're going to have it your way, which is always perfect, right? *LOL*  I like seeing the surprise and Joy on the faces of those I'd made a piece for and knowing they loved and appreciate it.  So it was all good... until... well, until other people I never expected to want something I created started asking if they could buy some of my work? What!?!  I took it lightly at first... and then when there was insistence... sometimes persistent requests... I had to take it more seriously.  And a decision had to be made on how far to pursue this? At what price?  Because everything has a cost... and though I've never feared 'failure', I sure as hell have learned to fear a certain amount or measure of success!!!  Yes, you heard me right, the fear of SUCCESS!!!  And though that might sound crazy, let me explain... I've 'enjoyed' professional success many times in my careers and I'm using the term 'enjoyed' loosely here peeps, because there was ALWAYS a down-side to success, sometimes you never expected the price you would pay for it... the cost of succeeding.  You'd have that Dream and vision of what you wanted to attain professionally and you always assume the view from the Mountaintop is going to be so glorious that it will all be worth it when you 'made it'!  I am tenacious... I can honestly say that if I've ever wanted anything badly enough I've found a way to do it or get it... I'm like a dog with a bone and I never consider failure an option so it never bothers me or enters my mind so I've never feared THAT.  If I WANTED to succeed or attain, I will and I have.  But... what if you're not sure you WANT to?  Then what? I know when I'm DRIVEN and I know when I'm NOT!  Because I also know that bigger levels often means bigger devils... to whom much is given, much is required!

My professional life was always very successful and I made a lot of money at it over the years and retired from more than one career field, that was all well and good... but there were sacrifices personally to be able to attain that measure of professional success... and at the time I was willing to pay the cost... the price.  Do I have regrets now... yes... and that is why semi-retirement was not such a difficult option for me each time the decision needed to be made on a personal level, no matter what or how much I was walking away from professionally... because I knew what I was walking TO on a personal level.  So, to begin another professional endeavor, involving my Art, I don't take lightly at all.  My Family and Friends are encouraging and supporting me, as they always have and that is good.  They believe in me and they know I can... they also know I'm not fully applying myself and they don't get it... so the pressure has been on.  I've got plenty of orders... and potential orders... more in fact than I am comfortable with at times... and I'm carefully weighing the costs... very carefully.  The physical costs since I make my Art entirely by hand... the financial costs because it always takes money to make money... and more importantly than all of that the personal costs.  That's HUGE... because my Loved ones have had to make many sacrifices too over the years to support my professional Lives... and so have I... and at this Season of Life I'm not really sure I want to go there again... yep, the fear of succeeding... and then realizing it's taken on a life of it's own and consumed me... AGAIN... at a price and cost I'm no longer willing to pay and so I go into decision mode about semi-retirement again!?! Do I really want to do all the WORK and put in the TIME it will entail, chasing after the almighty Dollar again so that it can be deemed a successful venture and not just a Hobby?  Been there and done that before my Friends... and at the end of the day I'm just not sure anymore, because spending more time with the G-Kids, The Man, extended Family and Friends has been quite a Joy in this Season of Life... and I realized what I had missed, what I had sacrificed, doing the Corporate thing for more than half my Life!!!  Balance and contentment is key to me now, Family and Peace definitely have the upper hand in my Life... FINALLY I can make those Heart choices above necessity choices, and I don't want to give that up!  Because money spends, you make it and you either spend it or invest it... it's inanimate... not endowed with a Spirit... and therefore just a tool... but your Life, your Loved Ones and your level of Joy and contentment is far more than that and therefore PRICELESS... not something I'm willing to 'sell'... and so for now at least, I'm not reaching my potential as an Artist in spite of external pressures... by those who only have the best of intentions and mean well... but perhaps don't fully understand my hesitancy at going forth and applying myself with more focus and energy in that direction... Dawn... The Bohemian

LATER... after receiving encouraging words of wisdom and supportiveness... after baring my Soul... and even talking to The Man about it this Morning since he saw me up writing this Post in the wee hours *LOL*... I have decided firmly to heed the advice of my Soul. Because this is only a weight because I had made it so... I'm lightening the load by going with the Soulful Mantra I attempt to live by... IT IS AS IT SHOULD BE.   Thank you my Friends for helping me to decide... I shall continue to create because I simply Love to and it feeds my Soul... I am thankful and grateful it has been well received... creativity cannot and should not be forced and so I'm going to do as Kiki suggested and simply follow my Heart and Fly... Thank you to everyone who weighed in and gave me a Peace about my ultimate decision...  Blessings... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. I have made and unmade that decision many times, sold on consignment at antique stores, sold from my own space at antique stores, and am now content to take it as it comes, occasionally sell, but not chasing the sale. I will be interested to see what you decide. It's a tough one.

  2. First let me say Dawn that I for one ( and I am sure there are many)am happy that you have decided to blog. I really look forward to your beautiful posts. Second, you are such a talented lady!!! Being successful is a dream of most people, I think. How wonderful that you are:) I will also be interested to see what you decide to do with your art. Have you thought of doing it just part time? Whatever you decide, I am sure you will have thought it out and made the right decision for yourself. Good luck and keep us posted:)
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

  3. First, let me say that photo of you and the grandkids is beautiful! The one with your husband reminds me of my father-in-law, (also a Marine). Gracie does impressions, she has been doing them as long as she could talk.
    For example, Gracie what does "Cutie say"? (She calls Grandma "Cutie").
    In a high pitched Mickey Mouse voice Gracie responds "Oooooh! Hi! Cutie!"
    Gracie, what does Daddy say?
    "Grrr rr rr rr!!" (He can be a grump sometimes!
    Gracie what does Mommy say?
    "Go to sleep, you'll fell better in the morning. I love you!" (In a falsetto voice).
    Gracie, what does Papa say? (This is the one...)
    In a troll-like voice Gracie responds "I LOVE YOU GRACIE!"

    Insofar as the art is considered, one step at a time...take the first one any time now!


  4. Hi Dawn..beautfiul family lovely! Simply follow your heart and fly! I paint just for me..and sharing it has been wonderful too..I simply have surrendured myself to the magic of my journey...and trust that it flows in the way most divine for my life..and whatever form it may take on or not...brings me joy in my heart! I truly paint only for me..and find great joy in that!

    Whatever ever you choose will be So perfect for in that..and shine! I have never defined my success externally..for me it is inward and peacefully! Create with your journey however feels most divine for you..and enjoy your success internally / all forms....honor your path..honor your art..honor your journey..and celebrate it..however it shows up in your life and however I want to fly!

    I love yoru blog and love that you share..keep shining. And if you share your art..I look forward to it and your magical world too!
    Yay...hugs and happy day!

  5. Hi Dawn..thankyou for your lovely letter..hugs we are such kindreds! Enjoy your is here to bring you much joy and abundance! It is wonderful others love and value your gifts. Do not worry about what anyone wants.. but you..honor what feels best to you. and do not feel bad if it takes you long as you shared ..that is what makes you be the artist in eactly the pace and style that fits you..those that value you your work..will joyfully wait! Best wishes in all you do and create! Shine on

  6. Hi Dawn.....I can't believe I have not found you before. I am a fellow AZ blogger and love the bohemian look and feel. Kiki has been a friend of mine form sometime. I have not been to the stores you mention in the Urban Crawl....but am on 7th Street often just looking.

    Would love to see you art displayed....where can I see it?


  7. Dawn always remember YOU are in control of which expectations you meet. Produce and sell when you feel like it. Don't allow anyone to pressure you into something you're not ready for. And know that there's often a bigger cost in not following your heart *winks* Vanna

  8. And how could I forget to add what a beautiful family you all are! Great pictures girlfriend! V

  9. I am happy you have made a desition and feel happy about it. And also, I think it takes currage to write all your thoughts like that online.
    This post also made me wonder - what kind of art do you make? Have you posted it on here, and me not paying attention?
    And lastly, thank you so much for the long and nice comment.
    All the best,

  10. Dawn, such a powerful and heartfelt post...I am so happy that you have listened to your soul, and will continue to create for yourself. I always enjoy coming here and reading your words and looking at your beautiful pictures...what a beautiful family you have.


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl