Saturday, August 31, 2013

Prodigal Daughter

It has been a year since I posted.  A lot can happen in a year, and a lot more seemed to get crammed into this one than most.  I had some fabulous successes, some scary dips downward, and throughout the roller coaster ride I learned some valuable lessons and grew as a person.  

Primarily what happened was a little something named Broadhope Art Collective.  Last summer I started working towards getting it from the zygote of an idea to a brick and mortar store filled with art and the people who make it.  I'm pleased to report Broadhope is about to celebrate it's first birthday in October!  This little "art collective that could" is an extraordinary and eclectic mix of handmade goods from Cincinnati artists, primarily those from the West Side.  We teach workshops, too, so you can come get your creative juices flowing, tap that inner artist, even if you swear up down and all around you can't so much as draw a stick figure.  (Yes.  You can.  I hear this all the time and I'm going to tell you your WRONG).

So, that's where I've been.  I've basically been eating, breathing, sleeping Broadhope since last July.  Other things happened, too!  I had a fun exhibit up at the University of Cincinnati's DAAP library.  My kids are bigger and smarter and more gorgeous than before, and they continually amaze me.  The husband has had a crazy, life-consuming project all his own, which I'll tell you about next time.  We did some traveling, had some adventures, kept up with old friends, made lots of new friends, and time just soared by.
But something happened this summer.  I came home from our family road trip to Wisconsin (which was extraordinary and unlike anything we've done before).  But I returned to a crossroads, realizing very quickly that I needed to make some changes.  I had become an administrator and manager, I was making less and less of my own work, and I was really starting to feel the repercussions.  I had assumed roles in life I was not meant for, and it was waring on me.

It turns out Broadhope is not my baby.  This baby, who is now taking steps on its own and wobbling forward without my propping it up, has lots of other wonderful, capable artists to help it on its way.  I have no doubt it will continue to grow and thrive.  But I will be sitting in the background, enjoying the show, instead of at the helm, steering the ship.

I learned one very big, very important lesson.  It can be simplified down to one sentence:

When I am no longer making art, something is wrong, and something must go.

That something cannot be my family, which is a danger for over-busy mamas.  It is all too easy for us to sacrifice the very thing that is most precious to us.  But anything else is fair game.  Because here is what I am truly ready to realize, what I'm gonna own, what I can hold dear in my heart: I am an artist, and I've always shied away from stepping into that role 100%.  I've allowed myself to get distracted with enormous projects like a West Side art collective, which are certainly worthy and wonderful in their own rites, but not at the expense of my own art.

The solution?  I'm handing over the reins.  Slowly and surely, other folks are taking up my duties at Broadhope.  I am moving into an artist studio at Essex in October.  I know I need a community of artists around me and that I cannot work isolated in my home.

I've had so many amazing ideas coming at me.  They've especially started flooding in since I made the decision to step back from Broadhope.  When you open yourself up to what the universe has to offer you, that receptivity is rewarded.  I know I'm on the right track, because those creative juices are flowing.  They are powerful, and they are not going to be ignored.  I'm so ready for this next chapter in my life!  I'm ready to really step in and own who I am and why I'm on this planet.  There will still be monsters, oh yes indeedy, but there will be so much more, too.  Just wait and see:)

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