When I was young and had boundless energy, I was involved with a performing troupe. We would create costumes and travel to do performances wherever anyone wanted us. Singing and dancing, we were a merry bunch and there were several of us; male and female. I remember getting sideways with some of the women a time or two and I wouldn’t understand what I had done. Finally the director of the group took me aside and explained it. “It’s like this, you make brave decisions that intimidate others and own the consequences when it goes sideways. It scares them because they are afraid to do that themselves.”

Years later I realized being a professional artist is like that. There are those who hang the art they do in public places and then there are those of us who take the whole shebang across the state or country. We apply to shows in places we hope and fear we will get into and throw our hearts over the fence to get there when we are accepted. Doing this is called “Owning our choices”. We understand that our success is based on our willingness to accept we might fail and must start over again. We also must recognize that our failure will be our fault; However, our success is ours to OWN as well. Oh we have our support, our cheerleaders but they will always tell us how amazed they are at what we accomplished. You can give someone all the resources in the world, that doesn’t mean they will have the courage to use them effectively or even bravely.

So, what is the moral to all of this? No matter where you are in life, if you have decided that you are going to own your decisions; you get to hold your head up high. Your success belongs to you. Of course, the flip side is true too… If your “stuck on the bottom of another damn stampede,” you probably got yourself there. It may be hard to hold your head up then but when you figure out how to get back on your own two feet again, you rescued yourself. Of course, you will hopefully learn from your mistakes and not get there too often (I hope I learn).

Oh by the way, “I’m stuck here on the bottom of another Damn stampede” was written by a pretty successful artist, Chris Ledoux. He made an awful lot of crazy decisions and look where it got him, a beautiful place out in Kaycee WY.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the Spokane Art School Artist-in-Residence, and not necessarily to the Spokane Art School.