28 July 2009

Opportunities Come, Opportunities Go

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, and with a new game every day, that's the way baseball is."
~Bob Feller

(An Iowa farm boy who became a star for baseball's Cleveland Indians, Bob Feller ,born 1918, threw harder than any pitcher of his generation. Six times, he won 20 or more games in a season, and he set new standards as a strikeout artist. Feller also won medals for his service as a Navy aircraft gunner in World War II.)

Last weekend was the final hurrah of the traveling baseball season. It was a great weekend filled with zany weather, more cheeseburgers and cheese curds and ice cream sandwiches consumed than I care to admit (what? That is about as balanced a ballpark meal as you can get!), and some great baseball. I can't thank my son Sport-O enough for being a part of this team. I have had the opportunity to see my son doing that which he does best, surrounded by families that I am proud to call friends. It has brought me much joy.

Now that it is over, I can resume my regularly scheduled life. I can start the hunt for school clothes and new backpacks. I can buy school supplies for my kids and help those who don't have any with Project Fresh Start. I might be able to take in a movie or two. Who knows? I might even finish a book or actually cook a meal at home (if I remember how). But really, I can get back to making art and being creative.

I have missed my studio. It is a hot mess, but it is mine (I am working on the mess part). I am ready to create (just as soon as I can carve out a space to do so and unearth those supplies that I bought so long ago and have misplaced under the clutter). I have watched as my cyber-friends have been blogging about all the creative sessions they have participated in and the vacations at the beach that they have been on. And I have been green with envy. But my time is now and I need to make the best of it. I have the opportunity to take my art in new directions and chart my own course to greatness. I intend to do just that.

Did I ever mention that I had a goal of being published once per month in 2009? Well, at the end of June I actually reached that goal. (Yay me!) I sent off my pieces for December 2009 for Bead Trends. And I almost missed an opportunity due to a technological glitch. But I am happy to say that not only did that opportunity find me, but it was even better than expected (stay tuned on that one). It seems a tad early to set a goal for 2010, but I think I would like to continue my drive to be published, and I am currently creating a portfolio of my successes to spur me on.

I am blessed with opportunities. One of them happened to me early on in my journey: an invitation to have my work represented on commission in a local gallery of a very talented goldsmith. That partnership was a huge stepping stone for me. It helped me not only to believe that I am an artist, but gave me an audience for my my very best work. From November of 2007 until today I was lucky to be the only other jewelry artist represented at Brody's Custom Design Goldsmith besides the talented Brody himself. Today that door is closing. Brody's decision seemed difficult for him to make, but for the sake of his own store, he needs to move on and my designs just won't fit anymore. This isn't something that I was surprised about. I suspected over the past few months that this might come. Am I sad? A little. But I wish him all the best and feel honored that I can call him my friend. I will do anything to see that he succeeds. I am ever grateful for the opportunity that he gave me. And I intend to leave that door ajar in case there might be possibilities in the future.

This spring I was invited to be an exhibiting artist at a new gallery in downtown Stevens Point. The Gallery Q Artists' Cooperative is a new venue for me. I had the courage to see the possibilities that lay on the other side, and I walked on through. And after having been open only one month, I have my first check from sales there. There are so many good things that are bound to come from this opportunity and I have my eyes wide open. So one door closes and another one opens. Ebb and flow.

I continue to embrace the opportunities that allow me to challenge myself in creating new and better things. This is one of my entries called "Sacred Stag" in the July Art Bead Scene challenge based on the cave paintings in Lascaux, France. Through these challenges I have had the opportunity to meet many talented artists and designers and take part in a community that promotes creativity which in turn has led to more inspiration.

Change is a hard pill to swallow, yet it is happening all the time. Change allows you to grow. Change pushes you in new directions. Change drop kicks you out of your comfort zone. Change is a good challenge for the soul. I like change as much as I like challenges and surprises.

And that is good, because I sense that bigger changes and more intriguing challenges and even better surprises are coming for me.

Check It Out::Ornamental (Nina Bagley is truly one of the most talented designers, with the most deeply eloquent styles, and someone that I have had the opportunity to follow along my journey. She is a role model for me on how to live and be creative. Do check her out.)

Enjoy the day!


Silver Parrot said...

Erin - congratulations on the way you have embraced change with such grace and dignity. We had some major layofs at my company today so I'm struggling with the whole "change" concept right now as I watch some good friends walk out the door. On a brighter note - thank goodness I am not the only one whose studio is, er, somewhat on the untidy side shall we say? I can't even get in there right now as that is where all the items rescued from our house flood back in MARCH have been temporarily stored. I cannot WAIT to have the reconstruction done so I can get in there and put things to rights! Here's to our future with clean studios and lots of creativity!

Mellisa said...

You're absolutely right that when one opportunity fades another (usually much more exciting) takes its place. Congratulations on your accomplishments and the new opening doors!

Lance said...

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." - Alexander Graham Bell

Erin, not everyone gets this. Not everyone sees the other doors opening. You do. And that's pretty awesome! And what you're saying here --
"I have the opportunity to take my art in new directions and chart my own course to greatness. I intend to do just that." -- This speaks so much to seeing the greatness within YOU! And it is (and I've seen it first hand!). You are an amazing artist! You have a real gift you're sharing with the world, and really - I feel that what you create is created with so much love behind it. And that's what makes it as wonderful as it really is.

Keep on being "you". You are a shining star, and your light shines out to all those you touch (like me!).

sharon said...

You have already met your goal for this year, and have had so many other wonderful things come along also.....and so a new beginning!!
Lovely necklace for the ABS challenge!

rosebud101 said...

Glad to hear that the traveling baseball season was a "hit." Pardon the pun. It's nice to get into a routine again. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Cindy said...

Whew! No wonder you haven't been able to spend the time creating as you've wanted. You sound like one amazing Mom...and I know baseball season seems to last forever! I got a break this year since my boys played LAX instead of baseball. Your gallery opportunities sound wonderful, and CONGRATS on meeting your publication goals. That really represents a lot of hard work! I bought the 2008 back issues of Bead Trends and have found you there. :-) I have the current August issue and saw your beautiful work, now I'm looking forward to December! Thank you for sharing such positive energy.

stregata said...

Erin, this was a lovely post. I loved the opportunity to see how you view things. I hope you accomplish your goals!
Love your entry for the ABS challenge.

Unknown said...

Sounds like your summer, while busy, is going great! We do need to get together at some point so you can go through the glass and see if you like any of it. :)

Dee said...

Erin, congratulations on your new open door! I love also that you are accomplishing your goals, especially about being published. Congratulations on those accomplishments as well. Try to enjoy the rest of the summer, while getting in a little creative time for yourself.

Stacey said...

The opportunities that have been presented are due to your passion and sweet soul. Who wouldn't want to share in that. I am sorry that the one gallery door was closed but you must be needed somewhere else. I am excited to see what that next opportunity will be for you. Thank you for continuing to inspire us all with your positive happy outlook on life!

Erin Siegel said...

You certainly have the right attitude, Girl! You always do. I enjoy reading your outlook on life. So uplifting! I believe with a positive mind-set like yours, you can achieve whatever your little heart desires and you will not even have to try because you will attract all those things to you. Opportunities will come to you as you have seen.

I like this piece you made for the July ABS!


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