Being a professional artist can make for a confusing journey. Unlike other professions, there is no linear path forward. You are always making complex decisions, prioritizing, resource searching, and questioning yourself, among so many other shifting factors. Add in multiple disciplines, and it makes that road even more bendy. It has many highs and lows. You don't get the applause at the top of the mountain without the taxing climb. Many folks don't realize artists spend the majority of their time on administration and logistics. But we do it because we have something to say, and creating is what we were made for.
As I reflect on the past year and plan for the one ahead, I am finding myself in a bit of "no man's land", just waiting for the holidays to pass so I can begin working on the next projects. And in this time, I have so many questions for myself. I am viewing my journey as a creator and performer from multiple angles. I'm considering my short-term and long-term goals. Do I need to keep taking small and steady steps, or do I go for broke and make a giant leap? Do I keep my different pillars of work separate or do I find ways to combine and streamline? Which topics do I address in my next works, and which do I wait for the right project for. I feel like I'm giving myself a performance review, and creating a development plan for the next phase of my self-contract. There is no one to lay out my next steps - every decision comes down to me. Having multiple passions makes it so difficult to know which to foster at what time.
The thing I do know for sure is that there is no slowing down or compromising. I will keep moving forward. Some things we cannot control, and we have to accept that the puzzle of a map won't always look complete or easy to decipher. But we must always keep our eyes on the WHY. I feel charged with the mission of sharing stories that inspire, evoke critical thinking, and ultimately offer a positive impact on society. That's my why.
Photo: Clint MacNichol