In my soul-searching during the past couple of weeks, I had an epiphany. I focused on what I’m good at and what I might be able to share with others, and finally hit on a subject I’m incredibly passionate about: my love of the arts and the importance of art being encouraged in society.
I see the way the education system fits people into boxes and leeches the art out of them. I was one such “victim”. Most of my elementary/high school education was spent being told my stories didn’t fit into the mould. They came back full of corrects on cliches and not using the word “thing”, and I’m not saying that didn’t help me improve my writing, but I never found a lot of encouragement in my love of fantasy.
“What do you want to be in the future?”
Any guesses as to the answer?
Yep. In one form or another, it was always, “But what about a real job?”
In other words: but what socially acceptable path do you want to take?
I’ve said it before, but I know I’m lucky. My mother always wanted to be a nurse, so she became a nurse; my dad wanted to help people, so became a social worker; my step-dad loved planes, so became an electrical engineer with a focus on aeronautics. I was raised by people who knew what they wanted to do and went for it. This way of thinking defined my life.
Looking at the artists around me, I appreciate how much our society and our culture is defined by our dream-chasers. Artists reflect the time in which we live. The study of history has so much focus on the stories that were told, the paintings that were created. Books, art, sculpture – they reflect a culture’s priorities, interests, forms of entertainment. They take us back in time and more than anything else bring to life worlds that no longer exist.
Art invokes thought. It provides relief and solace – an escape. It entertains. It pokes the emotions in all kinds of ways (yes, good art can make you feel uncomfortable). It expresses. It brings people together.
It brings so much good into the world, and yet people are discouraged from pursuing it for their livelihood because… I’m not sure why. Because it’s perceived as lazy? As not benefiting society? Possibly because there are too many of us, but no two people ever bring the same perceptions to light.
*ahem* sorry. As I said, strong opinions.
From those thoughts, I realised that it isn’t just art, but all dreams that inspire the same passion in me – all the dream-chasers. As an artist, it happens that my scope is mostly limited to other artists, but dream-chasers cross all fields, and I’ve always enjoyed being the cheerleader behind the scenes, encouraging and supporting any way I can.
So now I plan to bring my pom-poms to the blog. Over the next little while, I’ll offer some articles for the aspiring dream-chaser. For those of you who have an idea but aren’t sure what to do with it or who aren’t sure they can do anything with it. I’ll offer suggestions on where and how to get started and, more of a challenge, how to stick with it.
Because I’ll let you in on the big secret – if you have the idea, you’ve already started.