As the Opportunities Pour in my Time is Becoming More Precious. My Independence as an Artist is Crucial to my Success. Now More than ever Before.

Studio Visit Shot from my Artist Residency with Open AIR Montana at the Western Montana Natural History Center

If you have looked at my site over the last few months you have probably noticed I haven’t written a blog post for quite sometime.
The biggest reason for this has been finding the time between artistic opportunities, being a mother and wife, and my full time retail job.
And as much as I hate to admit it, especially to myself, battling overwhelming depression and anxiety at times. Drudging up negative thoughts, and worries.

Am I nearly as talented as I think I am?
Do I deserve this career?
Am I ever going to reach the artistic independence I crave?
Will I even be able to retain that independence without having to work a second job that I hate?
Is this reality worth it?
Do people think my work is worth the success I’m trying to discover and obtain?
Will my children resent me when they grow up?
Does my husband resent me for being more passionate towards my dream than towards him?
Am I being selfish?
Am I greedy?
Am I a freeloader?
Do I really want to be part of a market that’s becoming increasingly over saturated?(especially online…)
Do I even deserve success and notoriety as an artist?
Is my work basic and trivial?
What do I even have to offer?
Am I really an Artist?
Who am I if I’m not?

In April I was awarded my very first artist residency. I was one of 140 applicants and was offered a residency at the Western Montana Natural History Center.

My work space during my residency

The sheer amount of specimens was incredible. I was sad the residency only lasted a week… I didn’t want to leave! I wanted to draw every specimen in that building and create an extensive series based on those specimens.

A bullfrog specimen
Montana state bird; The Western Meadowlark
Beaver skulls and beaver gnawed branches

At the end of my residency I asked about getting a membership so I could return and keep working even after the residency ended. The director I was working with offered me a free membership and was excited to have me come back.

Since ending the residency and giving an artist talk about my wonderful experience, I haven’t made it back to the museum.
I haven’t made it back to the pieces I was sketching that were so special and inspired by that magical space.
Making me feel even more panicked, self doubting, and like I’m not moving forward.
Like I’m a failure as an artist.
A failure as a person.

Creating art is more than just making pretty pictures.
It’s putting your energy, your very heart and soul into a physical manifestation that tells a story, that shows a point of view or connection you never thought you’d see so perfectly depicted before your very eyes.
It grabs you and whispers that you aren’t alone.
Art is a tool for humanity,
and being an artist is to be a voice for humanity.
I’m not the voice I know I can be, that I need to be, because my energy is being directed towards my job instead of my art.
It’s crushing me.

The main goal behind launching my Patreon was to gain the financial freedom I need from a day job that sucks away my time to create.
A successful Patreon page is one of the many rings I need my hat in to help me earn the funds, and time, I desperately need to be a full time artist.
I’m essentially on a financial seesaw.
Earning just enough through Patreon and my art to take small spurts of time off from work to create, but never enough to leave.

Living paycheck to paycheck makes saving up the money to quit incredibly difficult/nearly impossible. I need to create a big enough nest egg to cover my bills for the first few months after quitting my job. I’ll be using the time that has been spent at my job, creating art, creating prints, applying to art calls and grants instead.
I’ll spend my time actually working as an artist.

When launching my Patreon, the 1st goal I set was reaching $100 a month in patron pledges.
I reached that goal within the first few months and promised to hold a live stream art auction in exchange for the support.

I’ve since decided to take this idea and run with it as a way to create the nest egg I mentioned before. I’m going to be holding a live stream art auction in an attempt to raise enough money to leave my job.
To do what I know I was meant to do in life.

The live stream will be held on my Youtube channel (links will be posted on here as well as Facebook and Instagram.).
Each piece being auctioned will be showcased on camera with a short run down on it’s title, size, creation, inspiration, etc.

My Art will be listed on eBay as each piece is showcased live. Essentially each listing will go live as soon as the artwork appears on camera!
(links will be posted on here, Facebook and Instagram.)

Date and time are semi-tentative as we are short staffed at my job currently and it’s been an ordeal trying to nail down a date to host. Definitely aiming to host before the end of June, but it might be looking more like mid July.
I highly suggest marking “interested” or “going” on the Facebook event page to receive updates!

Studio Visit Shot From my Open AIR Residency/fundraising promo during Missoula Gives

I sincerely hope this auction is a success. There’s so many pieces in my heart begging to be on paper that I long to bring into the world.
I know it’s time for me to leave my job and move onto bigger and better things in my career as an artist.

– Jessie