It can prove a very long journey from artistic child to a genuine opportunity to pursue one’s art. Sometimes a whole “day job” or “raising family” work life intervenes and it is only during retirement that art making has a chance flourish.
Here is one such story:
“I was a childhood artist. Everyone saw it and encouraged me. My art became my identity, my sanity, my refuge, and my nourishment…until I grew up and had to enter the work force. That’s when I had to sublimate my nature to the money-making machine in order that I might continue doing my art on evenings and weekends. My art forms have changed over the years, according to how they inserted themselves into the routine of whatever job I did. From drawing to painting to piano and guitar playing, on to macrame, sewing, photography, and writing, my artistic nature would not be quelled but neither would it be developed. The dysfunction of my life is evident in the fact that I’ve excelled in neither art nor work. I am now nearly sixty-five and chomping at the bit for retirement. My heart literally speeds up in anticipation of the day I can chuck my job and live authentically— December 31, 2015, if not sooner.”
Here is a second:
“As a small child I was inspired to draw, anything, all the time. My first mural was done at approximately 3 years old, a full sized black and white masterpiece. By the time I was 10 if you gave me a photograph I could reproduce it in graphite. By the time high school years came in I was very interested in pursuing a career in the arts and it was at that time my bubble was burst. My father sat me down while discussing my academic plan and told me in no uncertain terms that “art is a hobby, NOT a career.” So I retired my pencils and set my goal in quite a different direction – I became a Chemist. As time went on I was married and had three lovely daughters. Now I live vicariously, in the moment, through the artistic expression of my daughters and thank my heritage for the gift and the talent that was bestowed upon us. As for myself I have set a goal that when I retire I will take up watercolor painting and fulfill my personal dream.”
We might wish “sooner rather than later” for everyone. But sometimes our story will be “better late than never.” And that is its own truth: better late than never!