An Upstream Journey... by Keith Bond
"When I was about 14 years old, our Boy Scout Troop spent a week camping on the shores of the Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park. To get to the camp site, we canoed across Lewis Lake, then up a river to Shoshone Lake. During that upstream journey, we had to constantly row or our canoes would be carried away downstream. There were many obstacles in the shallow river (it would be considered a creek in many areas of the country). Rocks and sand bars were a challenge. The final leg of the journey, we had to portage our canoes.
Then, crossing the Shoshone Lake was a new challenge. We were canoeing contrary to the wind. This required constant work and our progress was slow. The wind caused the waters to be choppy, and if we weren't vigilant, our canoes could easily capsize.
Likewise, a career in art is a similar journey. You are charting an upstream course with many obstacles in our way. Sometimes you may need to portage. And if you ever feel that you have made it, remember, the waves are contrary and you must continue to be diligent in your efforts. If you fail to constantly push forward, the current or wind will sweep you back. If you quit creating art for a period of time, or if you quit marketing your art, you will be swept back downstream or even capsized. Once you resume your efforts you cannot start where you left off. You will need to re-enter the waters downstream. It will require tremendous work to regain what was lost.
In this time of uncertainty, there are many challenging obstacles. What you do during this time is critical. Even if you must slow your pace, you must never take your oars out of the water. You must keep creating; you must continue marketing. It is imperative that collectors continue to see your work. If they don't see you, they will see those artists who are continuing to toil upstream. Don't let the current sweep you back. Do what you must to carry on; even if the progress is slow. There is no resting on the sidelines. Either you move forward or you move backward.
You may not be able to spend the time creating as much art as in the past. But create something and let your collectors see it. Make it a priority. And keep your oars wet."
Best of luck,