Christine, a 40-year-old Australian artist, now living in the US, almost fell into the wrong career and surrendered her passion. But a conversation with someone she greatly admired re-orientated her life.
Words by Christine
Art and the artist’s life were my passion all through my 20s, but my 30th birthday and a broken 8-year relationship gave me a harsh reality check. Then, a steady income became more important to me than anything else.
I’d worked part-time in aged care homes. With my new aim, I trained to gain a better income, and I soon turned full time.
I planned to paint in my spare time, but it became unsustainable with a hectic social life that involved a lot of wine (and other substances), art openings, parties, celebrations, etc. Although I continued to call myself an artist, life was fun, and pleasantly uncomplicated without actually making art.
Years flew by without a single painting being completed. Then over a 6-month period, I noticed a fellow artist, Lucas (whose work I respected), turning out an astounding amount of work – a solo show one month, a group show the next, paid commissions the next.
“Have you hired a secret helper,” I joked at one of his exhibitions? “Oh yes, ten little fairies,” he joked back. “Seriously, what has changed”, I pressed.
“I did a course about life purpose, and it messed with my head, in the best possible way,” Lucas said.
I remember his words because, although I was happy with my therapy work and doing more training to advance my career, the fact that I did not know my life purpose made me quite sad, and very curious.