In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this month's post is about my journey as an artist thus far and my gratitude for all that I have achieved since becoming a full time artist. Through sharing my story, I hope to inspire you, the reader, to reflect on your own achievements and find gratitude.
Pumpkins, 5" x 7" oil on canvas board. 2019. ©Holly Bianchi Fine Art LLC
I Have Always Loved Art
It's true, from the time I could hold a marker, I loved to doodle. Eventually, I began drawing, then painting, then I learned to knit. The creative options were endless. It fascinated me that a piece of graphite or pigment pushed around by a brush could render a scene so lifelike. It continues to fascinate me.
When it came time to declare a major in college, I couldn't see myself choosing anything except art. Five years and one study abroad semester later, I held a degree in Visual Arts from Ramapo College with dual concentrations in Photography and Painting & Drawing, as well as a minor in Italian.
In the real world, I did not consider art as a career. Actually, I assumed it was not a career. Instead, I worked various entry-level jobs, my most recent being a full time corporate job, where I remained for four years. I all but abandoned my craft and my life lacked for it. At the corporate job, I worked very hard, prided myself on my work, and was ultimately promoted, but something was missing. There was no creative outlet.
In time, I started painting again, squeezing in a couple hours after work every day. My artwork, like most artists', became a side hobby. In July of 2020, I formed Holly Bianchi Fine Art LLC and made eleven paintings, eight of which sold. I felt at home painting. I was thoroughly in love with the process and began wondering if this was something I could do full time.
They Say Do What Makes You Happy
Well, they say it, but so few of us get to grow up and have the career we wished for as children. This is especially true of artists. It's an interesting contrast - being an artist carries this air of luxury, yet so few artists are able to earn a living from their work.
Despite this, and after deep contemplation, in July of 2021, at 30 years old, I left the corporate job to pursue the thing that gives me such joy everyday - painting. I was so anxious, it felt as if I may have jumped off a cliff and into the unknown. While this was a huge change for me, I have since learned I have not jumped off a cliff. The "unknown" isn't scary, and I have no regrets deciding to following my dreams.
In the process of painting Morning Path in 2020. ©Holly Bianchi Fine Art LLC
What I Am Grateful For:
The ability to pursue art as a career. The freedom to explore this career has not been without challenges, but I am so thankful for the opportunity.
Literally every single sale ever. It makes me so, so happy when someone loves my work so much they decide to buy it.
Displaying my work in galleries & shows.
Meeting other artists & hearing their stories.
Living life at a slower pace & on my own terms.
There is nowhere else I'd rather be, chugging along on my own journey, figuring it out. How to be a successful artist is not something taught in art school; it's a voyage of trial and error, lather, rinse, repeat. Some days are harder than others, but I am so thankful for it all.
No matter who you are and what you do in life, what are you grateful for?