Maria Brophy


  • and make good money doing it!

    ‘Strategies for a Successful Art Business!’
Motivation / Personal / Philosophy

Break on Through to the Other Side

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First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”  Epictetus


In my former life, I worked for the wrong people, doing the wrong things, for all the wrong reasons.

For fifteen years I slaved in the insurance industry earning six figures pushing an intangible product.

Let me confess this right now:  Never once during my childhood did I declare “One day I dream of sitting in a cubicle and selling paper called insurance.

Selling insurance was meaningless to me.  And the people at the company I worked for were not the kind that I would ever spend time with on the weekends.  I didn’t fit in with them.

Why did I waste the best years of my life working in the wrong job?

Because I thought that was what I was supposed to do.  The money was damn good.  And at the time I didn’t know that it was possible to do what made you happy for a living.  I really just didn’t know.

Fast forward to now.  I am living my dream life doing what I love.  I earn my living by sharing my husband’s art with people that enjoy it, I get to write about the things I’m passionate about and I travel anytime I want.

As a matter of fact, I’m posting this while we are driving from Southern California to Seattle, Washington, and we are visiting artist friends like Katie Staib and Tara Reed along the way.

Here’s the ironic part:  I’m not earning the six figures that I did when I sold insurance.  But my life is so much richer.

(Update:  A few years after writing this blog post in 2010, we surpassed six figures and way beyond.)


When I met Drew in 1996, he taught me that you can create the life you dream of.  It took years for me to put that idea into action for myself, because it just seemed too good to be true.

Before our wedding day in June 2000, we wrote out what we wanted our lives to look like.  It was simple:

Have a family business, surf when we want, travel the world visiting friends and family, and have a child that goes everywhere with us.

There was only one thing that held us back from that dream life:  My corporate job.

Drew had been begging me for years to work with him full-time.  “It will be great, Maria.  All of our energy and work will be for our family.”

I kept telling him “Maybe next year.”  I was afraid to leave the money, the health benefits and the paid four week vacation.

It was fear that held me to a job that I didn’t love.

Finally, a fight with a boss gave me the courage to quit.  The Vice-President at the insurance firm was a misogynist and criticized my every move.

One day he tried to embarrass me in front of my colleagues.  Until then I had taken abuse from him for many years.  But on this day, I had enough.  I held my ground and intelligently told him off in front of everyone.  His eyes bugged out of his head, fists pounding on the table!  How dare a woman stand up to him like this!  He threw a temper tantrum and stormed out of the meeting.

The next day I resigned.  Drew danced around the room when I told him that I finally quit the “job” and was now going to do work that I was meant to do.

(If I ever see that Vice President again, I’m going to shake his hand and thank him for pushing me into the wonderful life I now have!)


Going from six figures to zero was hard for me.  I need money and security to feel content.  I don’t do well with uncertain cash flow!

However, I committed to making it work.  I had no choice – it had to work.

My new job was to expand on the marketing and sales of Drew Brophy’s artwork.  Drew had been a professional artist his entire life, so he was already earning enough to support himself.  My task was to increase that income to supplement mine!

This is where the adventure began.  I had no road-map, so I had to figure it out myself.


We focused on expanding original art sales as well as the licensing of Drew’s artwork.  I signed up for LIMA’s one-year Licensing Academy program and got educated on art licensing.

We exhibited at the License show, sent out quarterly postcard mailers, and I made weekly sales calls to our target companies.

Slowly, we added to our licensing deals and Drew’s original art sales increased.

With me handling all of the business, Drew was able to focus entirely on painting.

With better planning, and the two of us completely focused on our business, we made great strides.


The day I quit working in the wrong job was the day we started living our dream lifestyle.

It might seem crazy, but six months after I quit my job (and we were essentially broke), we took a month long vacation in Australia.  Drew insisted that “This is the life we want to live.  What are we waiting for?”

We took Dylan, who was just a toddler at the time, and explored the coastline of Australia.  Drew found work painting surfboards in Byron Bay, and we met surfers who hooked us up with their vacation homes for free.

Since then, every year we take a month or two to explore parts of the world that we haven’t been.

I’ve learned not to worry about the money – it all works itself out.  (As long as you’re smart about it…but that’s another post for another day…)


You cannot have what you want when you put energy into the things you don’t want.

Let’s say you dream of being married, but you’re with the wrong person.  Every day that you spend with the wrong person, you’re cutting off your chances of meeting the right person.

The same logic goes with working in a job that you don’t love.   Every day that you waste in that job, you are putting off doing what you do love.  You are missing out on honing your skills and possibly even be killing a creative part of you that is meant to be.


If you’re stuck doing the wrong job for the wrong people and you yearn for a happier, healthier lifestyle, plan your escape!

Life is too long to be living a lifestyle that you don’t want to live.

What you do, every day, is what makes you who you are.  (I chose to be the traveling surfer girl rather than the insurance person!)

Here are some steps to help you:

  • DECIDE what it is you want to be doing.  If you aren’t sure, take notice of the things you love, things you’re good at, and what you’re drawn to.
  • LEARN about how others are doing what you want to do.  The internet is a cornucopia of information; find blogs and articles to help in your research.
  • DROP THE FEAR and allow nothing to hold you back.  Fear is the bane of all great things…
  • PLAN your escape!  Do it in steps, or do it NOW.  Or pray to be laid off.  Sometimes that’s a blessing in disguise.
  • COMMIT yourself to your plan.
  • ENJOY your life immensely.

Please let me know in the comments what problem you may have had with “breaking through”, or if you have successfully created a life you love, share how you did it!

This blog post is one part of six on this topic.  Please visit the other five entries by these elite bloggers, who also “broke through to the other side”:

Maria xxoo

(To learn more about how to “break through” and live your dream life, stay tuned for my e-book titled LIVING THE DREAM – BREAK FREE FROM THE STATUS QUO AND CREATE YOUR DREAM LIFE.  If you sign up for my Awesome Newsletter, you’ll get a copy of it for free!)

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49 Comments Break on Through to the Other Side

  1. Pingback: Artist As Brand - Artist As Brand

  2. Jerry Reed


    It was wonderful to meet you #SMMOC at Crispins. This was a beautiful and beautifully written article. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you. Always so impressed by someone that goes for it like you did.

    Continued Good Luck to you and your family.

  3. Ryan Curtis

    WOW, thanks Maria! This little pep talk came at just the right time. I have been working at a place for three years that I hate, just to keep money in my pocket. I have been considering leaving the place for some time but its the money that keeps me there. I have seen how working there brings my creativity down and have actually seen a regression in some of my skill sets over the years. I guess its time to face the fear, and take the steps to move forward.

  4. Deborah E Burrow

    Yes, yes, yes!
    I did just that – left a professional career of 10years to pursue what I wanted. Quite honestly the career was making me ill because I was suppressing my true self.
    I am now a professional artist and musician and have just enough money each month to pay the bills. I enjoy life, I am self employed, self disciplined and self coaching, and I LOVE what I do.
    If anyone is reading your blog and wondering if its the right move, my message to them is, ” Don’t hesitate – you will NEVER regret it if you keep your head and follow your true calling”.

  5. Lori Woodward

    Maria, Wow!

    This is an inspiring post. My husband is so dragged down by this job, but he doesn’t like change and risk. I am dreaming of the day when I can replace a portion of his salary and give him the opportunity to do what he loves – and travel with me 🙂

    I look forward to your ebook!

  6. Darrin Auchterlonie

    Great post!
    I made the jump from the corporate world of international travel, lavish dinners and smoke blowing beyond compare too stay at home dad, finger painting bobble blowing and KD on the living room floor seven years ago. Although the change was the smartest thing I ever did I still have quarterly finical fears, yet I manage.
    I surf more do yoga everyday and spend priceless time with my wife and kids and oh I get to make art.
    Life is not a trial run.

  7. Peter Clothier

    Good to hear your story, Maria… in many ways similar to my own. Sad, that we allow fear to dominate our lives and determine our directions. I did that for half of my working life. Now, 25 years after quitting academia, I am approaching the end of the best year of my professional life as a writer! Thanks for your story.

  8. Anna L. Conti

    Yes, this rings true. The most amazing thing that I never would have believed until it happened to me is that the thing I most feared DID happen (no regular income, money is tight sometimes) and yet, I’m happier than ever before.

  9. Alex Sanso

    Hi Maria!
    This is such good timing to read this…I have forwarded to my partner, who REALLY will benefit from reading this right now. Your posts always inspire me, and after meeting you and Drew and seeing your dream life right in front of me—even more so!
    Hope to see you in NYC or Vegas next year… 🙂

  10. Allison Hetrick

    Excellent post! I am sitting here at my job in the corporate insurance world (no joke) thinking about how I am going to get out of here. I just checked out the CLS program through LIMA … looks like a really great program. I have been looking at schools for my Master’s degree but I may squeeze that in first. Do you have any additional thoughts or advice on the program? Thank you so much for posting about your experiences – it makes me realize that I can follow my dreams more and more.

  11. Miss Mindy

    “You cannot have what you want when you put energy into the things you don’t want.” — such a true quote! – along with the whole philosophy you wrote of– So many things can hold you back, but look to the positive & what lifestyle you dream of! –thank you for the wonderful inspiring words… :)kindly, M. Mindy

  12. Deb Kirkeeide

    Wow, I can’t believe just how timely this is. As I lay sleepless inn the middle of the night, wrestling with this exact problem, I finallty got up and checked my email – and there was this post.
    Even though I’m in a creative job, I find the company and its owner more and more oppressive and controlling and find myself so frustrated that I can’t devote the time I want, to my painting.
    So, I’m am going to read this several times over and check out all those who have jumped to the other side. Thank you!

  13. Lisa

    Wow – this post comes at just the right time. I finally hit complete burnout last fall and left my multimedia job to freelance and start painting. Even though I was relieved to have left a failing (and on occasion unethical) company, I kept one toe in the water by freelancing at first. Nine months later I was finding myself begrudging that work when I really wanted to focus on my own creative efforts. So I have been reading about marketing and creating a presence on the web, trying my best to build my business.

    The hardest part for me is the doubt. I find I keep worrying about paying the bills (relying on my husband’s salary at the moment) and if there truly is abundance for artists, particularly with the economy as it is. When I speak about my dream of making a living with my art, I get responses of how artists “don’t normally live off only their art”.

    I believe it IS possible to live the life we want, and it seems like the universe has been pushing me in that direction – if there was not so much tension and frustration in the graphics industry, would I have gone on to try this? But it’s scary as hell, working without a net.

    I really, truly appreciate your writing. You help me believe that it is possible to be valued and make a living doing what we love.

  14. AdaPia

    As everyone says – this is a great article and rings true. It’s awesome to see how successful you can be when you put your mind and heart into it.

    I left my job at a private hedge fund a year and a half ago to manage my sister, artist Camilla d’Errico, and do pretty much what you described with Drew.

    It means the world to me, and I’m a happier (and nicer) person because of it.

    Cheers to those who can take the plunge towards freedom!


  15. Alex Mitchell

    Happiness is feeling like you have a purpose in life. When you live your life “on purpose,” you know what you have to do. Your intuition will always guide you and you can’t go wrong. The hardest part is believing in yourself. When I look back at what got me here, I see all kinds of hard stuff I’ve gone through, and yet here I am. So, no matter how you do it, you always get there if you can trust you are living your life on purpose and doing what you are meant to do.
    Life is full of magic.
    Thanks for sharing your story, Maria.

  16. Mike Broaddus

    Thanks Maria ,Perfect Words for me to hear at this Moment in time,I’m on the verge of Chucking it all with My Art,My inspiration is going, My Desire is failing,My attitude is self defeating the only thing that holds me is It always seems on a weekly basis to have someone wanting to purchase some of my work, it keeps a the slight glimmer burning and a remnant of whats left of a shell of my own my own shop and keeps a Artist from sliding off the edge of abyss.Thanks for Your Words Mikey

    1. Maria Brophy

      Thanks, Everyone for your great comments!

      Breaking through to the Other Side is sort of like bungee-jumping.

      You are scared, and hesitate, sometimes you don’t make the jump at all because you chicken out….but when you do finally make that plunge, it’s exhilarating and it all works out great! (And you’re so glad you did it.)

  17. Barbra

    YES! Thanks so much for this post. You are such an inspiration. Loved hearing about your process of going from FT job to FT loving-what-you-do.

    I’m working on this as well ~ earning money doing what I love ~ and it’s always great to hear there are people out there actually doing it no matter what steps you’re on.

    I wish my husband could take the jump. It’s pretty scary since he is the main breadwinner. He has so many ideas but little time to implement. Maybe all it takes is one really bad day at the job 😉 Everyday we secretly pray that will happen… sounds bad, but it’s true. I tell him we’d be fine and we’d have to change some things financially but I’d much rather him be happy doing what fuels him.

    I’ll pass along this article to him ~ I’m sure he’ll get romanced by the surf lifestyle you lead 🙂

  18. Bill Rosenblatt


    Great post. You must have my office bugged. I spend a great deal
    of time trying to help my clients understand that they can change and
    get “Unstuck”. BTW “Unstuck” is a great book by a colleague Dr. James
    Gordon from Wash DC. It’s a guide to help people who are depressed
    change their lives and move out of depression without drugs.

    When I was chair of Surfrider I helped create 2 different strategic plans for
    the organization. It really helped me see the importance of the process
    for individuals as well. We each need a mission statement and can benefit
    from regularly making and adjusting our strategic plans as we strive to
    accomplish our “mission” your “purpose”.

    I always tell clients “figure out where you want to go and head in that direction…
    if you want to go to California get on a road heading west, if that road ends it’s
    not a problem, you simply get on any other road until you find another heading
    west. Keep moving west towards California”.

  19. Archan Mehta


    I am a fan of Jim Morrison as well and enjoy listening to “The Doors.”

    Thank you for sharing a story about your professionall life–in an earlier incarnation–and how that relates to your personal life.

    You make that connection clear and your writing is fluid and easy to read. That makes you a wonderful writer and interesting person.

    Since you deserve to be happy and successful, I felt happy that you were able to escape from an abusive situation and a bad boss.
    Hope such people never cross your path again and that you are able to live your dreams. May Ganesha remove obstacles from your path.

    Please continue on your personal journey of excellence, creativity and keep on sharing such wonderful and interesting stories with us.


  20. Jennie Rosenbaum

    Thankyou for sharing your story, it sounds very familiar! however, it took being hit by a car for me to get my priorities straight I’m afraid! now I work at home as a full time artist, my husband is paid to stay with me and care for me and our baby daughter and we have the freedom to pursue the lives we always wanted. if only I had figured it all out sooner! (although as a child I did dream about bossing people around.. that sortof equates to project management!)

  21. Karen Steffano

    What an inspiring post. I am still trying to figure out a way to manage two careers – programming – which I still enjoy and pays the bills, and art – which doesn’t pay much yet – the need to earn an income is taking me out of the studio which is very frustrating. My perfect life would be a 50 /50 split between them – but financially I have to dedicate at least 8 hours a day to programming to make ends meet.
    If I hated programming I might be tempted to take the leap – it might also be helpful if I could sell a couple of works, but I am determined enough to find a way to succeed.

  22. Archan Mehta


    The story of your life is a tear-jerker…

    You have had such lousy experiences. I don’t want to get into the details here, but you know what I am talking about. Such negative experiences can embitter the heart. Instead, you chose to move forward and let bygones be bygones.

    It is but natural to remember the people who have been mean and nasty to you…making unhelpful comments, abusing you, controlling you, being dramatic…but you sure survived that hell and look where it got you. That has a lot to do with the way you chose to act.

    Despite overwhelming odds, you are a survivor and when the chips are down you just don’t look back and keep on moving forward. That’s why I think your life is an inspiration to so many of your readers.

    Even if you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, the Maria Brophy’s of our world will always have an ace up their sleeves.

    Keep on rocking and rolling and hit the dance floor. Cheers.

  23. Kristina

    This is perfect timing… or serendipitous in a way. I had a conversation with my sister, a licensed therapist, just this morning about my tendency towards keeping lists of things I want to accomplish, creatively, but never accomplishing them. After talking to her I realized it’s fear that holds me back, that awful four letter word. Now after reading your post, I’m even more certain. I just need to do it, I know I will succeed with hard work.

    Thank you for your inspiring blog, I hope to meet you and Drew one day when we’re down in SoCal visiting family (or if you’re ever here in the SLO area – surfing in Morro Bay isn’t bad, but the water is a tad cold!)

    1. Maria Brophy

      Kristina, I’ve surfed Morro Bay once. It was cold, but I had a great time! Yes, next time you’re down San Clemente way, please stop into our studio and say hello!

  24. Dave

    Just discovered your blog and it’s very good. I’ll make sure to keep reading.

    I’ve been struggling for years with the whole job vs creativity thing. I quit a job before and chased artistic pursuits.

    I’ve been to LA and back trying to work this project I had (I’m from Ohio). I settled down and got a job back in my field (which I hate) and dreamed of the day I could get back out on my own. That day came last December when I was informed that I no longer had a job. Free at last was my thought. I can jump back into my creativity. This time I wrote two scripts. I always felt drawing was my main thing, but I wanted that to be something I did after I sold some screenplays (pretty optimistic).

    Long story short. I’m barely surviving. My bills aren’t getting paid. If it wasn’t for my parents and girlfriend – I don’t where I’d be.

    Maybe I have it backwards. I should have been drawing and painting instead of writing (I had an urge to write these scripts). Maybe things would be different. I’m taking painting lessons now and draw everyday.

    I wish I had my job back. My unemployment runs out in two weeks. I just can’t find a job in and out of my field. It’s depressing. In my case maybe art is just suppose to be a hobby. We’ll see though. I have some ideas that I’m gonna implement to make some extra money with my art. I will keep you posted. Not trying to be a downer, but it’s just my experience.

    1. Maria Brophy

      Dave, so sorry to hear about the struggle you are experiencing. But, think about this: You had an urge to write scripts.

      Our urges are strong indicators of what we need to do. Most of the time we ignore them…but you didn’t.

      Now, what are you doing with those scripts? Follow your next instinct – where do you want the scripts to end up? Give a lot of thought to what you want to see happen, and then listen to your next instinct. I think you’re onto something. Forget about the money for the moment and look to what you want to see happen with your creative work….don’t give up just yet.

  25. Anthony

    Hi Maria,
    Let me preface this by saying that I do enjoy the other blog posts of yours that I have read, and I certainly believe that the spirit this particular post was written in was one of excitement and good intentions.
    However, I have to say, as an artist who is working on becoming one of these self existing entities, it came across as privileged, out of touch, and even a little condescending.
    Obviously many other people are really excited about your story and what it means for them. Unfortunately, the big parts of this blog that spoke to me were “six figure income” and “Drew had been a professional artist his entire life, so he was already earning enough to support himself.”
    The kind of money you must have saved from years of being miserable in your exceedingly high paying job must have amounted to something, no? I don’t mean to say you deserved to miserable because you were making a lot (excuse me, a buttload) of money, no one deserves to be miserable, but if you were raking in that kind of cash you must have been either saving a TON of it, or living uncomprehenisably well. Likely a decent compromise of the two. Despite hating your job, I imagine you go to drive a nice car and live in a nice home and eat good food and treat yourself to things. I do most of those and I don’t even make 40K and don’t have a life partner who is making a living out of their art.
    So to hear “all I needed to do was quit my job and focus on making money of my husband” (and I apologize for paraphrasing so crudely, but that’s really what I got from your post, despite the good lesson in there about finding what it is that makes you happy and working towards that) seems incredibly patronizing.
    So yes, if you have a life partner who earns their income from their art and you are making tons of money and presumably have a tidy nest egg forming, then that’s all you have to do. But for those of us who are just making ends meet on a single income and still doing their best to spend as much time as possible on what makes them happy, it’s just not that easy. I wish it was – and I’m not saying its impossible, that’s my current quest, to find out how to do what I love and make enough to live my life – but it takes more then quitting and jumping in sometimes when you are on your own and your financial stability could topple w. just 3 weeks of no pay.
    I really have tried to be respectful, as I do respect where your post comes from, as well as other blog posts from you and your colleagues that I have read. I just felt the need to speak up, because frankly, I couldn’t believe what I was reading, and I did not see anyone else reacting to your post this way.

  26. Greg Spalenka

    I would like to respond to Anthony. I created this blogging event with Maria and the other esteemed individuals to show that you can manifest creative and financial independence outside of corporate America! It can be done by yourself. It will not happen over night, it takes a plan and action to accomplish this goal (generally five years) but if you build it correctly you can sustain yourself financially from your art/talent.
    Maria worked as a team with Drew to accomplish this goal but it still is A LOT of work. It always is a lot of work whether you are going it alone or with a group of like minded individuals, but from my experience there are some methods that work better than others. Maria has learned some techniques that work very well and this is reflected by their success.

    Peace and Prosperity,


    1. Kristina

      I agree, there is no ‘magic wand’ to make this jump, just like there is not ‘design fairy’ that instantly creates the shiny turds I would polish in my day job for my boss. Drew is one blessed dude to have a wife like Maria who is his PR person, I’d love to be able to just draw cars/paint/design all day, but I’m also having to teach myself about self-marketing/social networking/SEO stuff as well – which goes right into my skill set though.
      My ‘fun’ art has always been on the side, but it’s helped pay extra bills and establish me amongst my peers, and I’ve learned a ton of stuff that I’d never thought I would (CSS, web design, etc). Now that my day job has dried up, I might have to take on an even more mundane ‘get the bills paid’ job while I grow my side business, but I don’t mind. Maria’s blog and the info I’ve gained here has helped this Artist That’s Prone to ADD actually make a game plan – huge step for me. Now it’s just a matter of baby steps (literally, as we have a 6 week old daughter!). My attitude is much more positive now than it was before, though! In the past I’d have read Maria’s story as well and thought ‘pfft well yea, 100k a year ain’t bad to build up the savings, how in the heck am I going to pull off this ‘Art Thing’, grumble grumble…’ but now I don’t care – I just want to be happy doing what I love. Even if I sell just one print or painting a month, it’s progress! And who better to emulate than someone who has successfully made the transition from corporate slave to Happy Self Employed Diva?

  27. vera akpan

    the story was inspirational. i see that replayed everyday around me….people working daily in the wrong jobs just because of security and the economy.
    Am a Craftsperson and really love what i do (i make customized African bags; sandals;notebooks;accessories), and have been doing that for about 13years initially as a hobby and now as a business. Am actually working on expanding to meet demands…check me out on facebook…vera akpan, u’ll probably want to order as well!.
    thx for your story……..

  28. vera akpan

    just read Anthony comments and from my experience, branching out is
    no small walk. it means that at the end TALENT is not enough, one actually needs other character things to make the dough mix well. One of them includes TENACITy and PERSEVERANCE (very key ingredients to eventual success). at that point patience becomes a virtue!. Truth be told,enterpeuneurship is real hard work and it will test all of ur insides to see if ur for real OR a fluke. Anthony, u got to stay the course. i started my Art as a hobby and my mum told me to ‘go get a life’ when i started. Now 13 years down the line,i am tonnes ahead and i keep falling in love daily with wat i do……and i have the respect of my peers. i have taken courses to enhance my inate talents further.

  29. Heather L. @ Starving Artist's Wife

    Another awesome post, Maria! This one really spoke to me! I quit my job at a local daycare this past spring and have been looking into what I can do from home for a side income. My husband is an artist who is trying to get his own business going, selling prints of his originals, his original paintings themselves, as well as custom painting surfboards and skateboards. I just do not feel like I could do what you do, just not very business minded. I am fine with packaging and shipping things off, as well as errands to help him out. But as far as the marketing, not sure I have what it takes.

    I know though, that I want to do something that I love but am not sure what that is at the moment! This post has really encouraged me to figure out what I want to do and go for it! Thank you!!

  30. Heather

    Positive attitude 95% of the time gives positive feedback. I made the decision a long time ago to ask. It didn’t matter what it was, I just asked questions to people I admire and I believed could give me positive advice. Maria and Drew were one of the first and I have learned so much along the way. If you ask for goodness in your life, good people will surround you and opportunities will arise. You have to be an open door to life. It works when you put your heart into it. 🙂

  31. Travis Rice

    You commented on someone else’s comment about how it was like bungee jumping, the standing on the edge trying to get past the fear and just jump or end up giving up. It made me think of when I was 18, it was spring break, and I decided I wanted to do something truly memorable. I went sky diving. I remember standing at the edge in the tail of the plain, the door open and a twelve thousand foot drop to the ground beneath my toes. Now the first time you jump, you’re going tandem, that means someone is tied to your back as you are sharing one Shute. What that meant in the door way is that I could not squat on my heals or he would fall on me, and I could not stand at a comfortable height or he would hit his head. So there we stood, my knees bent at and excruciating angle for what seemed like minutes until we were over our jump sight and the pilot told us we could jump. It was during that time that I felt so much pain in my legs that all I wanted was to just jump so my legs would stop hurting.
    I feel like that is where I am with my art. I want desperately to jump out there and give it my all, but I’m attached to someone, my wife, and I find myself looking for some job to pay the bills. I had been working at a job that seemed to suck the creativity right out of me when they cut my hours and I had an old client call me up from Hawaii so do some work for them which would pay twice what I was likely to make at the old job. So I quit, and flew to Hawaii. I left my wife behind for four months while I sculpted two eight foot long humpback whales breaching over the entry gate to their home and three dolphins diving from a wave sculpted into the wall further down. Since returning home I’ve only sold a few pieces that wouldn’t even cover a third of one month’s bills, hence looking for a job again.
    I want so desperately to just jump out and do my art with all the passion and love I have for what I’ve known I was meant to do since I was five. The only thing holding me back is, the materials are EXPENCIVE. And as much as I love to create beautiful things that inspire those that see it to breathe WOW when they first come across my work. When they just tell me how grateful they are that I was there for them to see it and how much they love it but don’t buy anything I find myself spending allot of money, for me, just so they can see it.
    I hear other artist’s speak of patrons and backers that let them work full time, but I’ve never been able to get them to tell me where you find these mythical people.
    I’ve been trying the juried art shows, galleries, even sold from a tea shop till they closed their doors. But I’ve only been able to break even at best. Oh I’m making a profit on each piece sold, but I’m creating far more than sells, and I would like to create a great deal more.
    So I understand and agree, you have to just jump out there and do it to be truly happy with whom you are. However, things like eating, paying the electric bill, gas bill and mortgage become hard obstacles to ignore.
    In one of the other comments I read someone commented that when you go all out for your art you can be self sustaining in five years. So where does one find five years of bills while they wait for that time to come through? My wife makes almost enough, I only need to come up with a few hundred a month to make ends meet, but if I want to do my art, I’d have to come up with a great deal more than that, and there goes the time I could be working on my life’s passion.
    I thank you for your words; they give me much to think about. I also like that you are even relaying a biblical principal. Where He says, and I’m paraphrasing, be hot or be cold but if you are lukewarm I will spit you out. Saying essentially if you’re half assed about it, wishy washy, you’re just sick and living an unhealthy life.
    Thank you for another thought inspiring blog, now I’m going to go read another one of yours 😉

  32. Pingback: Disregard Obstacles and Break on Through to the Other Side Part II | Motivation - Maria Brophy

  33. Dark Star Rocket Ship

    Evidently, Epictetus understood the requisite process twixt A and B. Define each variable. Thereafter, define the process in between. Through this, all things are impossible in the broadest and most abstract context. Ascend, descend, the decision is ours as is our respective fate for the summation of our choices. Ultimately, we are all one. Only the dissident among us retain individuality by way of experiential and practiced justification.

  34. Marie Kazalia

    Maria–I enjoyed reading your story. I gave up working middle-management office jobs and traveled the world. When I returned to the US I lived in San Francisco. Then when my father became ill I went to Ohio to live and take care of him the last couple of years of his life. It felt like the right thing to do. So many I knew laughed at me for leaving a gorgeous California city like San Francisco for rural Ohio! But many positive things have come from the change. I work much harder away from the lovely weather and city distractions and have intensified my focus on my art.

  35. Stephanie

    I keep finding myself unemployed and trying to make a break for the “other side.” Currently I’m living out of my car. Your advice and website are so helpful and encouraging.

  36. June

    I left my crappy job (not a career job, just a part time, soul-sucking job) to help my husband get his business going. (My husband had gotten fired for his bad attitude.) After a few months of trying to make a successful business with him, I realized that the very same attitude he got fired for was keeping the business in turmoil. I asked for a divorce and started my own company, making art that I love! I’m not rich, but I am most definitely a lot happier and my business is growing. I recently was able to get my art into a store and sold two pieces in the first month.

    One of the biggest downfalls of my business right now is relying on outdoor events as a catalyst for sales. Weather plays a big roll in my world. I live in Florida and right now and Hurricane Hermine has sabotaged my weekend show. But I’m still painting and creating in prep for the next show on the 17th of this month.

    One of my very successful artist friends sent your link to me yesterday.

    Thank you for the free e-book and I look forward to reading your future posts!


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