Usually when the new year arrives, I'm ready to launch into a new whirlwind. Last New Year's saw the beginning of the end of my gallery -- and January was an excruciatingly difficult and exhausting time as we closed it down.
This year, I'm in such a different place that I hardly recognize myself. I rebuilt my work life and personal life to some degree throughout 2011 and then the holidays came. With elderly parents living in my town and two sons still banging around and launching themselves, it all got pretty distracting.
So when New Year's hit this time, it threw me into a quandry as to how to address it. I've never been in this position before. March will see the arrival of my 59th birthday, so there's also the Biq Question about how to spend this last year in my 50's and what to do during the next decade.
You can see my dilemma.
I want to keep being a metalsmith and bringing my work to its marketplace. I wish I was 25 years younger. If I were, I'd attend SCAD in Savannah and learn more about design and art marketing. It's all so much easier and more systematic for younger artists now! I try to not be swallowed up in envy.
When I was young, there was no clear path to a craft career, nor of marketing craft. So I've reinvented the wheel at every step -- much of it alone, on my own. Some of it with the help of friends and mentors I've met along the way. Now, later in life, I see things beginning to get structured and more organized for those who are at earlier points in their careers. If I were younger now, I'd take advantage of these things.
But, I again find myself way out on the leading edge, walking the tightrope without much of a safety net! How does one reinvent herself yet again, at the threshold of her 7th decade? Is there a guidebook for that?
Today, I do what I want to do. I don't make things I don't want to make. I don't do repairs. I do very little custom work. I follow my Muse. And I'm hopeful that she'll stick with me and whisper fresh ideas into my ear and tell me what a 60 yr old metalsmith 'should' be designing. She has a about 1.25 yrs to get ready!