Monday, March 17, 2014

Sunseeker Daisies and Succeeding as an Artist, Year One - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Sunseeker Daisies
by Nancy Medina

Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

What on earth does a full time artist do all day? It's not all sleeping late and watching reality TV. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I watched TV. It has been years since I sat on a couch for more than three minutes. This is not whining, I'm just too excited about what's going on in the studio to sit still for more than three minutes these days! In two weeks, it will be my One Year Anniversary of my Departure From Corporate America. I clocked out. I hopped off the treadmill. I jumped off the cliff into the abyss of hopes and dreams and launched my own business. In the first 6 months, I wondered every single day if I would be able to pay the bills. I lay awake at night adding numbers in my head. The water bill, the Toyota payment. The tax bills *gulp*. Despite these fears, in April 2013, I turned in my resignation. I wrote a formal letter of departure and routed it to human resources. I gave up the job as the director of a national medical magazine, a job once described to me by one New York based headhunter as a "cherry" position. No more annual performance reviews, no more office politics, and a passionate farewell to business attire!

One year later, did I make it? Did I at least come close to reaching the same six-figure salary I had in corporate America? The answer is: I exceeded all my goals. I am happier. I wake up excited in the mornings. I LOVE my job, teaching, traveling, painting, marketing, every moment of it. Heaven help me, I even enjoy gessoing canvases and packing up paintings to ship.

I feel like I have finally answered my calling. And yes, I succeeded financially. I made well over six figures in my first year as an artist. I made more money as an artist than I did as an editorial director for a national magazine. Money is not what drives me, though. It's an absolute love of art and teaching. Does this mean tomorrow, you should quit your office job and walk into your art studio and expect to do the same? I would caution, I was building my art business for years before I quit my daytime job. I was strategic and careful and waited for the right time to make the change.

In April I'll be teaching my first marketing workshop in Fredericksburg, Texas. I'll share some tips with you on how I made my dream come true. This workshop is already full, but I'm planning more in the future. There really is a way out, and way up. There is a way to build a path toward your own exit plan. Life is so short. I really think when we look back at our journey, we need to know deep in our hearts we took the right path. What a tremendous blessing, and how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to call myself an artist. Thanks so much to each of you for being my friend on this journey.

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