Friday, July 19, 2013

FF: Telling it like it is

The business woman in me is telling me to post only the positive and not to over share. The emotional human in me is saying the hell with that, tell it like it is. As you can guess by the title the emotional human has won this round, so I won't blame you if you skip the first four fragments. I just think it is time to get this out there. Should you read my more emotional fragments and decide to offer encouragement, advice or even criticism I will be both delighted and grateful.  
Being an artist is confusing. Grief is confusing. Let's face it life is confusing.

Photographic Art by Nita Davis. Title: Confusion

People who know me will tell you that I am one of the most optimistic people they know.  In reality that is one of the masks I wear. Being optimistic does not come easy. I am not always happy, I don't always know what is the right thing to do or say.  Unlike many artists who channel pain and hardship into their art, most of the time such feelings tend to block my creativity. You see I don't like to create things that to me don't express the positive side of life.
 

Grief and confusion

When my husband suddenly passed away last year I expected the transition from wife and caregiver to independent woman to be difficult but I really didn't know just how confusing and hard it would be.  I loved my husband dearly, however being the caregiver of a double above the knee amputee who suffers from Bipolar disorder 24/7 for fourteen years took a major toll. So much so that my first emotions were shock mixed with relief, quickly followed by guilt for having felt relief and sorrow. I've run the gamut of emotions over the last year and a half and in all honesty it has gotten harder in the last few months. All I will say now is that the above quote is so true, grief is filled with so much confusion. I could write an entire post on this subject, but that would be more like a book.

Artistic Confusion: Self Doubt
I know exactly how Elisabeth Shue felt! For years friends and family have been saying how talented I am, either at writing like in this post, or with drawing or photography or my photographic art and I just keep wondering if they are just blowing smoke. We all know that friends and family are not the best judges of talent. I don't really doubt that I have a level of skill but is that skill really good enough to be called talent? More importantly is it enough to actually earn a living?

 Company Confusion
 One last emotional fragment. I sure hope Jack Welch is correct.

Trying to make a living as an artist takes more than just hard work. Although Artisitx Network LLC is a family owned business it is my dream and the weight of it's success or failure falls to me. Val and Ted are both artists like myself only neither have any business training, experience or education so while they do help make decisions the bulk of organizing and promoting the business falls on my shoulders. Which is okay, I mean it is my dream and I am the one that convinced them it was a good idea to start the business. Here we sit nearing our four year mark and while last year we broke even, at this point we are no longer breaking even. We have discussed making major changes in our focus from creating memory photos for individuals using their photographs to focusing on our portrait photography, but even with the change in focus I sincerely doubt we will break even this year unless we can come up with funds for marketing. I made a promise to give the company five years to turn a profit but I am getting discouraged and wonder if I should just write off my losses and go back to creating art just for the pure joy of it. 

Now for some fun fragments:

Friends and Family
This month got off to a joyful start with a much enjoyed trip to Sioux Falls, SD to visit friends and family over the weekend of July 4th. I will try to pull myself together this weekend and get some of the photos posted on my blogs.

If you are wondering what I have been doing since we got home from our weekend away this next picture pretty much sums it up.


Who says video games are just for kids?

In an attempt to pull myself out of this funk, I have decided to go back to taking early morning walks. So far I just walk to the end of our street which is on a hill. We live at the bottom of the hill. This shot was taken half way to the top.


Although I haven't been posting on my blogs I have been taking photos to post. Here is a shot I took last Friday for Weekend Reflections. Better late then never.
Weekend Reflection

This afternoon I sat in the front yard for about 20 minutes trying to capture the lightening from a passing storm. I was happy I got this shot because the lightening strikes were few and I kept missing them. The storm passed just to the south of us so all we got was some wind, a bit cooler air and of course some beautiful stormy skies.
 
Sky Watch Friday



To wrap up my fragments I leave you with my life motto:


Thank you for stopping by, please be sure to hop over to Unknown Mami's to join in this weeks Friday Fragments.
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22 comments:

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Thanks for sharing. My Dad was my Mother's caregiver for years and her passing 10 years ago was very confusing for him but I think it added years to his lifespan.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I've watched my mom transition after caring for my step-dad and then after his passing. It's been 2 full years and she's just starting to come into her own again. It's a long process with many ups and down. All I can say is be kind to yourself.

And venting on your blag is perfectly fine!

Happy Friday Frag, jj

'Tsuki said...

Great post, with beautiful images (the first composition is so awesome !) and so interesting words...

Keetha Broyles said...

Not having gone through that kind of loss I have no words of advice. I will say I care though.

Joyce said...

We've been walking thru grief in our family this past year after losing our 17 year old niece to cancer. What I've learned is that while the stages of grief are universal, the walk thru it is still singular. Each of us grieves in our own way, and I think we need to be allowed to grieve in whatever manner works for us. You have had a heavy load for many years and on top of grieving I'm sure you're probably just plain tired too. Be kind to yourself.

Cyndy Bush said...

I could have written the paragraph about being an optimist. Some people seem to think that positive people just have a happy, easy life. SO not true.
So sorry for the loss of your husband. I can't even imagine.

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

I have the attention span of a gnat, yet I was drawn into reading your thoughts which are very powerful and thought provoking, thank you for sharing. Oh and I like your reflection photo too :-)

Nita Davis said...

Thank you for your encouraging words. My best to you and your father.

Nita Davis said...

Thank you Joanna for your encouraging words. My best to you and your mom. I will certainly try to be a bit easier on myself.

Nita Davis said...

Thanks, I don't often do abstract compositions but sometimes the mood just strikes. I am glad you like it.

Nita Davis said...

Thank you Keetha, it is good to know others care.

Nita Davis said...

Thank you Joyce for your kind words. I am so sorry to hear about your niece. Cancer is such a horrible illness and to watch a loved one go through it is heart wrenching. My heart goes out to you and your family. You are right grief although shared with others is a very singular journey.
You are also right that the years of being a caregiver left me very tired, although it is a difficult transition I am trying to focus more on taking care of myself.

Nita Davis said...

Thank you Cyndy

What most people, especially pessimists don't realize is that optimism doesn't equate to an easy life, nor does it mean the optimist isn't effected by the difficulties in their life, it is more a refusal to let the negative aspects of life rule us.

Nita Davis said...

Thank you Wayne for your comment on my post. I do have to say though that in my experience with gnats they tend to have rather incessant attention spans when they get around me. :D

Tiny little reveries said...

This was such a great post. So honest. I'm so sorry about the loss of your husband and I'm sure it takes time to "adjust your sails" like your motto says. Guilt is such a destructive emotion, but they say it's just part of the grieving process. I hope you get past that part soon. I love your pictures!

Doreen McGettigan said...

My out of the house job is as a caregiver for hospice patients. I do that to supplement my writing career which has become a literary success but not quite a financial success, sigh...
It is a fact that to succeed you have to market and advertise and your partners should be able to find some sort of marketing chore in their comfort zone.
Don't quit too soon your success may be right over that next hurdle.
A photographer friend of mine volunteered to take photos at charity events. She provides the photos to the charity for free and they can use them for publicity etc. giving her credit of course. She also puts the photos on her web site and sells them to patrons of the event. Her business has skyrocketed and she is now opening a studio. Just a thought...

Tettelestai said...

Grief sucks in all its forms. I believe it is ok to allow relief to be one of the emotions you experience when a loved one who you have cared for passes. Its a facet of grief for you and not allowing the expression of it hinders the grieving process. Just my two cents.

I would not be successful at making a living taking photos. I do not have that artistic bone in my body. But I love looking at other artist's photos :-)

Nita Davis said...

Thank you so much.

Nita Davis said...

Thank you Doreen for your words of encouragement and for the great idea.

Nita Davis said...

Thank you for your encouraging words. It has been difficult but I am learning not to feel guilty for feeling relief.
Awe, just as I do not have a musically artistic bone in my body. People run for cover if I try to sing...lol

Karen and Gerard said...

Early morning walks are the best!

Unknown Mami said...

You have been through so very much. I think you would have to be robot not to go through so emotional difficulties. You are experiencing growing pains both as an artist and a human (as if you could separate the two). I can't guaranteenthat your current business venture will be financially successful, but I have no doubt that you will at some point achieve finacial success through your artistry.