Now that it’s February, I think we’re done saying Happy New Year. The invigorating sense of new beginnings is behind me now. I’m left with the nitty gritty daily commitment to be better than I was the day before.
Most days, I feel satisfied that I’m doing all I can to be a better “me.” I’m even satisfied on days I spend not actively working towards a goal.
I’m still waking up early for morning Yoga. Still drawing every day. Still trying to get adequate sleep. I’ve upped the frequency of my attendance to my Muay Thai classes. I’m drinking Banana Wave (Side note: I don’t know that this is actually healthy. Fooducate gave it a C+. I’m pretty sure that it’s full of sugar, but it makes me feel happy to have a small cup after workouts).
It’s at the point where I’m depending on the routine I’ve built to provide the framework that will allow me to achieve all I wish to achieve, while also giving me the flexibility to have grace on myself for when I fall short of perfection (which is often). This gives me a sense of peace in knowing that all things work out for the best.
Still, sometimes it seems like the mountain I’m trying to climb is just too enormous. I know that just putting one foot in front of the other is better than staring at my challenges dumbfounded, but that’s often where I find myself. Gulping down air nervously like a novice hiker, attempting to climb K2 without any training or the proper equipment. I just feel in over my head.
If I pause and evaluate what all needs to happen next, I feel hopeless, even with all of the effort I’ve been pouring into it. How will I ever be the artist I want to be, when I don’t even know how to get better? Seriously, how to all of these artists (Felicia Forte, for example) make their paint look so thick and luscious? Why is mine dull and muted?
How on earth am I going to pay off the thousands and thousands of dollars of student loans I owe (over 30K)? I’m sure I sound like a millennial broken record, but it is so disheartening to consistently pay my monthly bill (more than I’m asked) and yet I still owe more than what my parents originally took out on my behalf. I never imagined going to college would make me feel weighed down. I’m lucky, more privileged than so many, to have received a college education. At the same time, I am also left with a burden I didn’t understand when I started school.
Yes, there is more nuance to the issue but from a purely emotional, standpoint it’s discouraging at best. It impacts my daily life and it’s also one of the greatest reasons why I’ve never gone back to school to get an MFA or another higher-level degree; the cost is too scary.
In the end, I can’t change what has already happened, and I accept that this is the situation I find myself in today. I don’t like it, but I’m legally obligated to deal with it.
That being said, my goal this year is to pay off the smallest loan with the highest interest. As of today, that loan is at $1,899.53. I’ve budgeted in a way that will allow me to carve off an extra small chunk of it this year from my own 9-5 income, but I’m financially unable to contribute any more than that.
So, here’s where I’m at. I need to sell more artwork (cue sales pitch):
*Transatlantic Accent* You there!
Have you been eyeing anything I’ve created? Do you have an idea for a commission you might like? Is there an aching in your soul for something priceless and artsy?! Do you simply like the cut of my jib?
Well, step right up and please reach out to me. I will work with you and your budget to provide you with exactly what you’re looking for. Custom, one-of-a-kind artwork can make truly special gifts (Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.).
Check out a sample of some of my work below. As of right now…they're all available! Prices for the below artwork range from $45 to $450 but I'm open to negotiation. I can also provide more specifics on sizing upon request.
And, if you’re not in a place to purchase anything. It’s all good. No worries pals.
It still feels weird to promote myself sometimes. I don’t want you to buy anything if you actually don’t like my work. I’m not really interested collecting pity. I do want to make sure I get my work out there and utilize all of my skills to be able to tackle this debt. Intrinsically, I believe I can provide something different that may fill a space missing in your life (or at least that space above the toilet in your guest bathroom).
It’s really interesting how time and money changes your perspective on things. There was a time early on in my art career where I felt crushingly intimidated about sharing my services. I was afraid of not living up to professional standards and selling my art felt like cutting off a limb.
I view my art differently now. I know I’m working at a standard I can be proud of. And while the work itself is still precious to me, selling it feels less like losing an arm or leg, and more like sharing my heart. The more I do it, the more comfortable I feel doing it again and the more I have inside me to share.
That’s about all I have to share today. Thanks for reading this far! If you did make it this far, comment the word, “What?” to prove you’re a true follower. Lol! Or don’t. Exert your free will.
Angela DeCamp is an Indianapolis based artist. who enjoys the finer things in life: black coffee, carnival tickets, the sound high heels make when they clickty-clack on the sidewalk.