How I Became an Artist
Noah Bradley

This was probably the greatest and realest piece of writing I have read in a long time. I, too, am an artist and I have endured a long road post art school. (Side note, I remember when I first started college and taking art courses, I had to do the RISD “bicycle drawing” for class…)

I got out of art school really looking forward to the future. I was applying to grad schools while still working on my craft. A long the way, I think subconsciously I began to get discouraged. It also started to dawn on me that I had student loan debt and I wasn’t doing anything to properly use my degree. Years past and I still wasn’t really using it. I was continuing to work jobs in retail while trying to figure out what the heck I was doing with my life.

I started experiencing a string a unfortunate and hurtful events in my life (my mother getting sick and also having loved and being loved for the first time and lost it) which kind of took a toll on me mentally. I started to look for something (s) that felt comfortable. So I told myself I was OK working in retail and go through life as is. I was still creating art now and then but I wasn’t devoted to it. It took my oldest sister getting sick and dying way to young (She was 37) and then a couple of years later my Mom passing for me to really re-evalute my life. I had gotten so content with my life and living comfortable that I was OK creating art now and then. Because hey, I did the hardest part already…I got a BFA from a private art school.

So just going through all of that, I decided I can’t continue to let life pass me by. I didn’t want to go through my life being content and comfortable. With that being said in, September of 2013; I walked away from my comfortable job and left Maryland. I took a leap of faith. I relocated to NC and told myself that I would try to finally live life as an artist until I found something to supplement my income. It was then that I realized just how comfortable I had gotten. For the first time in almost 20 years I was without a job. That comfort that I always had was gone. I also realized that I had subconsciously connected working and being an artist. The longer I went without work the more I found out it was hard for me to create. I had so much on my mind that I found it hard to focus on art. I started to lose confidence in myself as an artist. And I still struggle with it. In recent months though, I have found myself regaining faith in my work. So I feel quite positive about things.

This response is longer than I wanted it to be but as I started typing the words begin to pour out. I finish with this. Or as my lovely girlfriend always say to me, long story short…I am glad I happened upon this quite engaging read at 2-something in the morning. It really touched me and was quite thought-provoking.

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