Small Course Corrections

Photography by © Beth Ortman Studio

I often wonder about the "Road Less Traveled" in my own choices. I wonder if I would have had the hunger that I have now if I had followed a different path of being a full time artist. I am not one to teach in front of a classroom, though I have "teacher" in me. I continually communicate to and connect with people. I have always been a seeker of knowledge and someone that finds threads to juxtapose disparate ideas together seamlessly. I think about how procrastination would have destroyed a less honest attempt at making art full time. Or the fantasy of disappearing into a cabin for a month just to focus on making art daily would have less romanticism if I did it all of the time. These things made me hungry for what I believe is my dharma and as I enter the second part of my life, I am in the process of taking the leap into that direction and the creativity of it all is electric. 

In the end, a practice is just that. It is work, progression, insane curiosity, a delving into into ideas so deep and small course corrections that all mean a constant reaching for succeeding to the next plateau. And then it starts again. For me it goes so far beyond the art that I make. I have a great conversation and I make a small change. Feedback can fuel my intent or alter it to make me see something better. I read and I make small course corrections. I research and become enamored with a mark, a direction, a culture, an idea, etc. I make another small course correction. Sometimes it is all about self-doubt and indecision and then I just have to sit down to do the work in what I do best. I have to trust in and open up to my intuition and know, inherently, that it is all part of my process of getting to the next plateau. Usually those are where the big leaps occur. Knowing this is part of the process. I constantly evaluate and reevaluate where I am and what I am reacting to. In the end, sometimes it comes down to being gentle with myself and surrendering to the idea that things will fall into place without me willing them to do so.

I often wonder if I would have been as strong and consistent in my habits of making art that I have put into place from the last 10 years if I hadn't taken a career detour. If at 25 I went to NYC to work on art. Maybe I would have made "it", maybe not. But would I want to make things as much? Through introspection, I have come to make my aim at creating and expanding my art, building a brand and ultimately reaching for new ways to communicate it all. In some ways this blog is a recording of this path. There is a maturity that has come from working in the interactive agency world that shows me that repetition gains a mastery and that since every project is different there is always room to grow. It also has made me turn the branding, business strategies and the interactive world inwards to help define what I want.

Things all come with time and a reason and the messaging always comes back to learning to find trust in the path and being here in the now. This is my road less traveled and it is a good road with all of its twists and turns and its minutia of smaller tributaries.