I never knew a world without art. My mother was a crafter and my grandmothers were both accomplished painters. I would spend hours and weeks at my grandmothers house, drawing in her studio. I learned sewing, crocheting, painting, drawing, sculpting, carving, and photography. I fantasized about becoming a well known artist 18 years ago and I still fantasize about it now.
I never knew a world without science. I studied the social lives of birds, became familiar with the workings of plants, created jar sized ecosystems from the life in the river behind my house. I started tracking and documenting the animal movements through my yard, by the time I left home, I had gathered over 300 different species of birds feathers from the muddied shores and wooded paths that I roamed.
By the time I left home, I felt thoroughly confused about who I was, what I wanted, and where I was trying to go. I had a love for both the sciences and the arts. A love that was tearing me apart.
I made a decision when I got to college and I ultimately feel that I made the wrong decision. I decided to drop my art in exchange for more science because I felt that science was a far safer profession to pursue. I spent the next 4 years studying climate change, ecology, and botany (with just a touch of art). In my free time though I noticed myself drawing, photographing and sewing more. (I should have taken the hint) By my sophomore year in college I was starting to make some serious head way in sewing and light painting photography, but by my senior year I felt I was finally getting very focused on my sewing skills, I started to sell at fairs, take commissions and I created my shop at etsy.com.
The summer came and I graduated. I started to look for work, sent in dozens of resumes, and never heard a word back from anyone. When I finally got a whim chance for an interview, I waited 2 1/2 weeks in jobless limbo waiting to hear that they had decided to pick someone else. I have made more money this summer through my arts than my 4 year college degree in science and it looks like things may continue in that fashion for a while to come. I think it is time for me to throw in the towel and embrace it. I spent 4 years trying to avoid the arts that I loved and in the end they are saving my neck from the hole in my safety net.
Now I am looking at a new split in my life, should I trust the artist path and take it or should I continue to look for the tradition path. I know what I want but I don’t know if it is feasible. I want security, but more than that I want happiness and fulfillment.