I have always been considered an artist. In reality, I have never considered myself much of one.
A little background here, for those who don’t personally know me: I have been able to draw, and rather decently, for as long as I can remember. A talent I inherited from my mother, I was teaching other classmates and drawing Babs Bunny to perfection by fourth grade. By eighth, I quit taking art classes, because I felt I knew everything about art I needed to know (as any dumb thirteen year old would, and I happily admit now, I wish I had stuck with it). For most of my adult like, I have done painting here and there, a few commissioned work, lots and lots of doodling, and have actually scraped a small living from selling my block prints on Etsy, and occasionally I have even had the artistic epiphany or two. For all this, I have never really felt like an artist. To be absolutely truthful, the only two things I have ever really enjoyed drawing are my strange plants and trees for my Art-o-mat blocks and women in big ol’ historical ball gowns. Actually, I’m pretty okay with drawing women in any kind of dress, but I prefer historical gowns (living vicariously through art, I guess).
I never knew what was missing. I have a decent amount of talent, but very rarely do I feel inspired to anything original. Other than Art-O-mat, I don’t think I have completed an original work is easily two or three years. I have an uncarved but fully designed block sitting in my work area that dates to midway through my pregnancy (my daughter is a year old).
Then, I started making soap. Swirling colors and matching scents. I think about it all the time. I make soap almost every night. If I am not making soap, I am designing labels for it, taking photographs of it, and writing product listings for it. I fantasize about when I will be able to design my own colors, blend my own fragrances. I dream about inventing a new swirling technique. It hit me that how I feel about soap is how I always thought I was supposed to feel about art. Passionate.
And so I have put all that passion into working to open a soap shop of my own (online, of course). On August 2nd, Clean Line Soap Company will officially go online. I hope you will stop by and have a look at what I have to offer when it does.
(Finally, I guess the lesson here is, just because you are good at something does not mean it is what you are meant to do, even if everyone tells you it is. When you find the thing you were meant to do, you’ll know it, regardless of what anyone else says).