Welcome to another week of The Never True Tales Won’t You Be Neighbor? series where participants showcase wonderful bloggers they’ve met along the way.
Won’t you join me in welcoming Amber from Strocel.com? I’ve been reading Amber’s blog for longer than I’ve been blogging here, at Coffees & Commutes. I “met” her while I was still Thoughts from a Lite Mocha Mom. Her blog is funny, informative and simulating—that’s a power combination if you ask me. Her commitment to writing, and growing her online brand is truly an inspiration. For goodness sake, her podcasts are on iTunes! I look up to her as a blogger, and a mother.
On Being an Artist
by Amber at Strocel.com
My 6-year-old daughter, Hannah, is an artist. She draws and paints and colours much of her day away. And I may be biased, as her mother, but I happen to think that she’s pretty good. Far better than me, in fact, in spite of the nearly three decades of living I have on her.
I am not an artist. I went to engineering school, graduated, and worked as a programmer for 10 years. It’s a very solid, practical sort of a career, but it’s definitely not what you would call artistic. There is some room for creative problem-solving, I suppose, but you could say that of most any job. For the most part, engineering and art feel like polar opposites. And somewhere between the time when I was 6 years old myself, and the time that I entered engineering school, I stopped playing with crayons and became as solid and practical as my chosen field.
Things changed for me somewhat abruptly a couple of years ago. I was finishing off my second maternity leave when I got a call from my team leader.. Let’s just say that when you’re on maternity leave and your team leader calls you on speaker phone, announcing that there’s an HR rep in his office who’s also on the call, you pretty much know what’s coming next. They were dramatically downsizing, and I wouldn’t have a job to return to. My engineering job wasn’t as solid as I’d believed it to be.
Here is where my life took a turn. The obvious choice was to finish off my maternity leave and look for another engineering job. But the truth is, I didn’t want to do that. I was ready for a change. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what that change would be. So I embarked on a journey to figure out what I really wanted to be when I grew up. I’d ruled out engineering, but that still left a whole lot of possibilities.
I wish I could say that I’d had some kind of great epiphany, but I haven’t. I have done a whole lot of exploring, though, and I’ve learned a whole lot about myself. I’ve re-discovered my love of writing, for example. I’ve created an online course for mothers. I’ve done freelance work and written guest posts and created podcasts and stepped way, way outside my comfort zone.
One of the things that has occurred to me is that maybe, in spite of my doubts, I am an artist. Maybe we’re all artists. Art, after all, is not about being able to create a flawless object. It’s about expressing ourselves – our thoughts, our ideas and our emotions – creatively. For some people, like my daughter, their expression falls within the realm of what is commonly considered art. But for the rest of us, it may be a little less obvious. Maybe we write, or bake, or even create computer software. Maybe we pour our whole selves into parenting our children, or creating a welcoming home. I suspect that there are as many ways to express art as there are people in the world.
I don’t know where my journey will take me. Although I don’t think anyone ever really does know. That’s the way life is – it’s full of twists, turns and curve balls. But what I do know for sure is that even in the midst of the uncertainty, I have the power and the ability to harness my creativity and make my art. Whatever my art looks like today.
Now, I’d like to hear from you. What does your art look like? And how has your definition of art changed over time? I’d love it if you shared your thoughts!
Thank you Amber! I’m so glad my own journey led me to you.
Don’t forget to head over to The Never True Tales and read all the other posts featured this week.