While driving to Art2Muse Gallery on Saturday with my three children, my eldest son (14) asked me, "Mum, what did you say the other day about the number of artists in Australia that make a living from their art?"
I replied "Oh, I was saying that only a very small number of artists in Australia, probably between twenty to forty, make a good living from their art alone. What I mean is, they can take their family on holidays and do the things they want to do in their leisure time, like other families".
He looked thoughtful for a moment and then responded, "That's not many... but there's about to be one more!"
I felt so touched by his confidence in me and the decisions I make daily to pursue art as a career, rather than seeking a waged job that might offer us more financial security. My children understand the dilemma I faced earlier in the year when I was offered a fantastic opportunity to work at a local high school with a very professional staff and highly motivated students. I agonised over whether to hang onto a reliable income or continue to face the uncertainty of casual work and the vagaries of the art market.
The latter won out and I continue to strive towards my dream, motivated in part by the inspiration I hope to be to my precious children - that one day they too will have the courage to face their fears head on and choose to step into the unknown to follow their passions. In the words of Wes Roberts,
"Whether you are old, young or somewhere in between, whether you want to admit it or not, those coming along after us are watching how we dream and what we do with our dreams, and young people are naturally drawn to the older folk who do dare to keep dreaming, seeking us out, watching how we live into and beyond both our failed and successful dreams".