|Force of Nature|
I was brave today. I feel I need to pat myself on the back for just a moment. It might not seem like a BIG deal, but it was for me...so, WAY TO GO, RISA!
What did I do, you ask?
Today I went to the informational session for WARM's Mentor Program. (WARM stands for Women's Art Registry of Minnesota). Going to that meeting was a big deal for several reasons.
First, I hate walking into things like this--a group setting where I don't know anyone--not my cup of tea...brings out loads of social anxiety. Hubby dropped me off and I sort of felt like a kid being dropped off for the first day of school. I was about ten minutes early and the first one there (which I prefer). I found my way to the meeting room and was greeted by the program coordinator. After that I was fine...it's just those first few moments that cause my anxiety.
But going to this meeting was also a big deal because participating in this program is something I've thought about for a long time...and going to the meeting brought me one step closer to realizing this dream. The opportunity only comes around every two years. Here's a brief description of the program (taken from their website)--
The WARM Mentor Program is a supportive resource that pairs emerging and professional women artists for two years. Each protégée directs the process of selecting her mentor, identifying her goals and tracking her progress. Mentors share wisdom and skills while providing supportive critique.
The WARM Mentor Program was founded to ensure that women are full participants in the development of the visual arts and culture in their communities and society. The Mentor Program is designed for the serious artist who is in the early stage of her career. Each participant pairs with a professional woman artist or mentor for a two-year term. The next cycle begins in January 2011.
The informational meeting fueled my enthusiasm for participating as a protegee in this two year program. As I wrote earlier, I've been interested in this program for a while. I first heard about this program years and years ago...and always kept it on my radar screen, thinking...."it would be nice to do that someday...if I'm ever really doing anything with my art."
Well, baby...I think someday is now. I am not going to allow myself to convince myself otherwise. I am not going to do what I've done in the past...convince myself that this isn't the best time to participate, that I'm not ready...I am ready. I'm never going to be more ready.
Besides having the opportunity to work one-on-one with a more established local artist for two years, I will have the opportunity to build a community with other emerging (as they call the protegees) artists. Even though I am an introvert and have a hard time in those types of group settings (at first), I am definitely feeling the need these days to build a stronger connection to my local artist community.
Just a few days ago I called my long-distance artist friend, Julie, to check in and commiserate...creating art can be a lonely experience and I am missing the daily connections of working with others. Sometimes I feel like I am creating art in a vacuum. And while I am relishing this opportunity to work full-time on my art (and trying to make the most of the opportunity), so much in my life has changed in the past few months and I am still adjusting.
This program looks like just what I need. So I am moving forward in the process and hoping to make this a reality. There are still some hurdles to leap. I will need to submit my application by October 11th and then interview with potential mentors. Then I wait for a mentor to choose to work with me. Perhaps the biggest hurdle for me is the financial committment this program will require. Fees are very modest, but money is certainly tight. I am hoping for some sales during the Art Crawl next month to fund my initial program fees.
If everything falls into place, I will sign the program contract on December 1st...which by the way, is just days from my 50th birthday.
I think that would be an awesome way to kick off my 50th birthday!
So, think good thoughts, keep your fingers crossed or say a prayer...whatever it is you do.
I'll let you know how things progress.