I was at my friend’s house yesterday and they were watching something I’d already seen and then after that came something I wasn’t interested in. I pulled out my sketchbook and went to work.
This was my pen and ink drawing done with little light and I love this little sketch!
While I sat there drawing I thought on the people that would have found it insulting that I sat there drawing while everyone else watched TV. I was still talking with them, paying attention to conversations, listening to snippets and watching a little bit here and there. I was still actively with them. But that wouldn’t have been good enough for a number of people from my past. They are no longer in my life and it wasn’t an active choice, but I find it serendipitous. I no longer care if someone complains to me that I am drawing in a restaurant. I’ll say right back to them “I don’t whine about you constantly being on your iPhone, so cut me some slack. At least I’m still involved in the conversations.” But I wasn’t always so… confident, I guess is the word.
Most likely this is because – before the last few years – I never put my art or myself first (no matter how often my husband told me to). My husband’s constant reminders didn’t fall on deaf ears though. I started doing what I wanted in my free time instead of what I thought I should be doing. I did what I wanted with my hair for me. Little things. Then when I opened my first business I learned to say ‘no’ to people who wanted me to spend my time doing something else because I could have a flexible schedule if I wanted. The hardest was friends, but I learned.
If I wanted to be successful at whatever I was doing, I had to give it the time. I had to invest in it. It had to come first at some point.
This year is the first time that I am putting my things as a true priority – my passions, writing and art. I did prioritize writing and sometimes art in previous years – meaning they were higher on the list of things to do than before. But this year those two things come first. Like my husband must allow his job to come first (unless there are extreme circumstances like an emergency) I must too learn to allow writing and art to hold that same priority. So every day my husband must work, those are also work days for me. If he gets up at 5 am, he wakes me up shortly after (my request). This way we share most of the time we have together in as equal states as possible. It also alleviates the guilt that comes from taking a complete day off to just fart around with him and play video games, go on aimless motorcycle rides or hang out with friends.
Sometimes when you don’t have that support system in place though, it’s very hard to explain to people why you’re spending time doing something else. And I honestly cannot help those who struggle with apathetic spouses or non-supportive friends. I won’t have the arrogance to give tips or advice here or to link articles that I chose that might have spoken to me because how would an article picked by someone who has never felt that struggle you feel, help anything?
I will say that early on in my marriage I learned that both husband and wife serve each other. I supported my husband’s dreams, he’s supported mine. Now that he works full time, I have taken on his chores and tend to run around more when he’s home doing things for him so that he can relax – his job is very physical after all. While he’s at work I have the luxury of staying in my PJs if I want, writing for hours on end uninterrupted, drawing and drawing. Yes, there are chores, animals to care for, errands to run. But we both fulfill our end of the bargain. When you support each other, when you serve each other, you find harmony.
A friend of mine is an artist (a painter with acrylics and a multi-media genuis) had her marriage blossom when she finally figured out that her husband didn’t act supportive of her dreams because she’d never been supportive of his. To him, having a man cave where he could smoke and drink and watch the games with his friends was a dream. She’d always put it down. So he’d never been overly enthused or supportive about her art. Once she helped him clear our their basement and start to work on it he seemed “transformed” to her. He didn’t complain if she was going to go paint. In turn she bought him a mini keg of his favorite beer for the first game in the room and he bought her a brand new easel. Crazy people in love, huh? She told me when he asked her to paint something football related in his basement, she cried. He’d never shown any interest, never cared, never said she was good or bad – anything to her would have been better than indifference. So she painted one whole wall with his football team’s logo, years, championship years and his favorite player. Needless to say, he became her biggest fan, lol.
Like I said I don’t know what you personally are going through. Maybe Cindy’s story above helped, maybe not. But the point is that there is an answer. Whether you have to have a heart to heart, or Google for art support groups, it’s there. Someone somewhere else out there (most likely MULTIPLE someones) has been through what you are going through. They can be invaluable resources on how to get out of situations, fix circumstances or just be a good person to vent to.
Wow! What a long post! So sorry! My goodness. Here is another piece, this one a COMPLETE FAIL lol. I drew it for a friend of mine. The top image is the meme she adored and asked me to make her something like it, the bottom is my drawing. Lol, needless to say, I was having an OFF DAY. Still mailed it to her though, lol! I’ll just have to do better on my next attempt.