“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.” – Gordon B. Hinckley.
At this time last year, I had recently lost my position as a studio photographer, and after a brief trip out West, I had to face the issue and decide if I needed to get another part time job. I decided to fully throw myself into my second job as a custom framer at a corporate arts and crafts store, even though I was already dreading the holiday season and knew my time there would be limited. I developed health problems that I convinced myself to power through and managed to last over a year in that position before I needed to sit down and face facts.
I have always seen myself as someone who would eventually work for themselves. The idea of being my own boss and handling business myself without answering to a superior or getting stuck in a role with no chance to move up in a company has always been a more attractive option to me, even though I understand that self-employment requires a lot of work and dedication and commitment. I’ve always had a feeling that I can make it work out for myself, despite some failed previous attempts and the current need for a proper job. And now? A year out from my decision to commit myself to a retail position without room for growth, I’m happy to look at life now and see how far I’ve come already.
I met Eric in the arts and crafts position. He shared his plans and some of this art work with me. I was amazed by the beauty and detail he brings forward on the page. He inspired me to put my energy back into creative works I had abandoned for years. I started drawing again, falling easily back into the patterns and shapes of my work. I always believed Eric would eventually find success with his art, and so his encouragements for my own meant everything to me. I rediscovered the joy I get from making art just for the sake of art. I started working on my stories again – old stories I’d left unfinished, fanfictions only half-started, and my own stories I’d locked away in my head.
Now, almost a year out, I feel that life has taken the correct trajectory. We’ve had our Etsy shop – RocketRobinPrints – up and running for two months now. In that time, I’ve started new projects, written over 50, 000 creative words, and drawn more than I have in years. I even rediscovered my love for The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, which I watched almost every day when I was a kid. We are quickly building our inventory, starting new projects and artwork every week. We are doing research and starting our outreach to reserve tables at different art shows in our area, connect with other artists, put our art up in the gallery where Eric works, and to publish our stories officially through Amazon and other routes.
It’s a lot of hard work, and I foresee only more hard work as we move forward. I doubt Eric and I are starting down an easy path. After all, art is never an easy career. We put in a little work every day. We’re always thinking of new ideas and planning out how to make things work out well. Neither of us is afraid of hard work, and I think in the end it will pay off. I think we’re much closer to doing what we love. We hope to bring joy with our work and with our stories, and that I think is worth any of the work it will take to get us there.
I studied philosophy and psychology in college. There is a lot of discourse in these fields about the premium manner for people to carry out their lives. The topics range from want-gratification to morality to conceptualization of our Reality. There are many differing opinions than span cultures and centuries, classes and genders, but the goal appears consistent: for people to strive to live the best life available to them. Through unique human abilities and capacities, each person strives to make the best of their situational constraints and better their life in whatever way they can. Following this line of thought, it’s my belief that art – in all its forms – leads us closer to the best life possible, and so there is worth in putting time into creating as well as receiving artwork. Illustrations, sketches, paintings, written stories, and more all illuminate and reflect the beauty of life. I think it is important to remember life’s beauty through art, especially in hard and chaotic times. I think it’s easy to lose sight of the good and lose sight of ourselves, but art or a story helps to ground us again.
We have our goals clear moving forward and we hope that what we create will resonate with other people. Creating is what we love to do, be it with words or pencil or paints. We try to inch closer to reaching our goals every day, and although we don’t know how long it will take to actualize our dreams, we will certainly reach them someday.
We’re starting down a path we don’t quite know yet, and we hope we can engage and bring you along with us as we head into the future.