Thursday, August 12, 2010

A dream and a goal.

My goal. I actually have one. But will it ever come to fruition? I have no idea. But for now, it will remain both my dream, and my goal.
Currently I am an unemployed graphic designer. During regular economic times, this would be considered a cliché since as an artist, it almost goes hand-in-hand, but in this day and age of recessions, extended unemployment, etc. it’s just plain sad.
I love what I do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life, but within the past few months, I’ve had nothing but time on my hands. Enough time to sit back and contemplate what I would want to do with my life if given the opportunity of NOT getting a job in my field. What would/could I do?
Well, there’s the common response—work at Starbucks or places of similar environments, but ultimately, would I be fulfilled? Probably not.
I don’t expect to make much money, but I do expect some sort of happiness in my life, and if it involves a job, then why not? Is this so much to ask for after spending many years in college to learn my ‘craft?’ 
No, it isn’t.
But after much contemplation and soul searching, I have come to the realization that what makes me happy are equally combined—teaching and art. Combine the two, and the answer should be simply, an art teacher. But again, in this economic downturn, is that the smartest move since most art and music teachers are losing their jobs due to budget cuts within the school system? Add to the continuation of my education to obtain either an MFA or a teaching certificate.
Well, since I am still paying back my school loans, this might not be the most practical solution given that the end result will most likely not be a lucrative one, or worse—still remain unemployed with even a higher balance to my never-ending school loans.
Now what do I do?
Well, after living in Ft. Collins for twenty years, I also notice a lack of culture and art appreciation here. Yes, it has gotten much better since I first arrived here in August 1990 from New York City, but it does still need a significant amount of improvement considering how the population has increased throughout the years. I’ve always enjoyed walking through my daughter’s school so I can admire the artwork on display within the walls of each quad, and appreciate their naiveté as the children each create their individual masterpieces.
Then it hits me—why not open an art school for children? Something I could take charge of and be proud of and gain that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.
I realize there are a few here in town, but they’re small and expensive. I would want to make it available to children of all income levels, not just the rich or upper middle class. All children, doing nothing but creating their art and enjoying it along the way.
Of course, the space would have to be perfect. I dream of a large, open space loft—something with a rustic and urban feel to it. Lots and lots of art supplies enriched with splashes of color and ease of use. No intimidation allowed at this school! 
But it wouldn’t stop there. 
One thing that I always learned throughout art school myself is that in order to be a successful artist, you must go back in time and learn where and how art came from. Learning about art history—even at such a young age—can not only give each child an enrichment for art, but an appreciation as well. 
But, this all costs money. Lots of money. Something I just don’t have at this point in my life. I also wonder in this economy if opening a business such as an art school for children, would be a risky move. I wish I could take the step needed to go forth with this objective, but for now, I will have to sit back and continue to fantasize about this ambition and see what happens. Maybe it’s something I will have to save for, but for now, it’ll remain a dream and a goal.


Elisabeth said...

I respect and love your dream... and I won't pretend to understand how it feels to be you... but maybe you could start smaller? Offer art classes after school in your house?

One Girl Creative said...

Great idea, Elisabeth, but I worry about people having issues with teaching their children in my home. I imagine there are a lot of legal issues that could arise with that.

I guess a good start would be to teach classes to Emma's friends and people's kids that I know.

Thanks for your suggestion.


Kristin said...

I say jump in head first and go for it. Live for today because you never know if tomorrow will come. If you wait too long worrying about logistics, it may never happen!

There a quite a few music teachers who hold classes in their homes. We've been to a few and they are a big hit within the MOMS Club circles.

Krystal said...

What a GREAT idea! I know it seems like a huge crazy dream but I believe that you can do it! My neighbors just this summer opened up their own children's drama studio. They are crazy busy but they are so excited to be doing what they have always wanted. I learned from them that we can do anything! I say get whatever space feels right and do it the way you want to.... it will be amazing!

One Girl Creative said...

Wow. I guess I never approached it like that. What wonderful ideas and thank you so much to all of you for your encouragement.

To be honest, I was very hesitant to post this story (which is why I was a day late). I wrote it 2 weeks ago, but was too worried about what others would think and if they'd think I was just insane for thinking (or dreaming) it.

But now that I read your comments, it only makes me feel the opposite.

Thanks so much for your motivating words.

Suzanne said...

i take my kids to an art program in Longmont that is $3 per time per kid. $25 for a 10 punch card. The woman is AWESOME and it is set up with 5 tables all with different activities each should go check it out. Discovery Days. It might give you some ideas! She says she can run it off the $3/time!


One Girl Creative said...

Thanks, Jen! Is it held at her home or does she own/rent a space for it?

I will research online and see if there's anything about it there.