The struggle is real when you’re an artist. First of all, it’s not a career many will encourage you to pursue. I got lucky. I made a decision In my 20’s to go back to college to study Graphic Design. I figured it would be the closest I would get to an art career. But with graphics, oftentimes you are realizing someone else’s vision, not your own.
And that’s where Etsy comes in. And this website you are kindly perusing. I draw what I want here. My inspiration is vast and sometimes scattered. I love to draw characters and imagery from shows and movies that I love. I draw animals, my adorable mutt and tortoise included. I try my hand at abstract images, feelings, even drawings based on music. But, art is subjective. What I like my not be appreciated by others. So the struggle continues.
These struggles are par for the c ourse you might say when you decide to pursue art in any capacity. But the universe had a little extra in store for me.
Being adept in visual arts is difficult enough without being visually impaired. (Yes, you read that right.) I was born with a genetic retinal deterioration disorder; the type and severity of which is still unknown. As a kid, it didn’t hinder me much. I usually had to sit in the front row in class, but reading, writing, and, most importantly, drawing was not affected. As I got older, though, and especially since entering my 30’s, it has become increasingly difficult to perceive certain details, objects, and texts. Reading out of a book or magazine unaided is near impossible. Even as I write this, I am utilizing a 32-inch monitor with my face a mere 4 inches from the screen. So you can imagine that drawing and painting have also become extremely difficult.
Then why bother? When even staring at the type on this screen is giving me a headache, when every single time I draw or paint anything my eyes have to be inches from the page, why not just…stop?
Well, I need to draw like I need to breathe, that’s why. Because I love it. Because I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil. Because there are awesome design applications like Adobe Illustrator that allow me to zoom in so ridiculously close to every detail that even if I can’t draw it on a piece of paper, I can damn well tackle it on the computer. So, yeah, the struggle is real. But it’s a struggle worth struggling through. Giving up is easy. Art isn’t supposed to be easy. Otherwise everyone would do it.