Wednesday, January 28, 2009


So Maria asked me where I find motivation to work yesterday.
I thought I would answer her with a post about it.

I gave it some thought, and realized that probably more than half of my blogs entries are about how I don't have any motivation. Haha. Yeah. I guess that's not so true. Looking at how much art I have made since moving here, you can pretty much call me a liar when it comes to lack of motivation...

Um...where does it come from?

There are several factors that contribute to my motivation.

1. I love what I do. I really do. I love making art, and I make art just about everyday. It's the one thing that I feel confident doing. I feel like I know what I am doing, I know how to do it, and I really like doing it.

2. I hate retail. So, the only job that I ever seem to get is in retail. I have applied to so many different positions. All the jobs I ever seem to be able to land are retail, and I LOATHE retail. Seriously. I worked retail, in the natural food store industry, for a total of 8 years (with some breaks) and I really don't want to go back. So, making art, and selling it is huge motivation for me. If I don't make art, and try to be as successful as I can be with it, I have to go back. And I will do anything within my power not to.

3. To prove people wrong. I've been interested in art, and being an artist for a very long time. Since at least middle school. All I have ever heard since then is that it's virtually impossible to make a living as an artist. I was repeatedly told to study a field where I could get a job that makes money...
I want to prove those people wrong! Ha! So far, I'm doing okay. I don't have lots of money, and I am pretty much just getting by, but doing what I love to do is priceless and no amount of money could pay up to that.

4. There is nothing else to do. Really. I don't have a television. I've watched all the movies we own at least 10 times. There's no where to walk to. I don't have a vehicle most days, and even if I did, I still don't really have anywhere to go. Besides, going places requires some amount of disposable income which is pretty sparse right now...

5. I can't take naps. I'm up. For good. Until 11 or 12 at night. I can try to take a nap, but it never works out for me.

So yeah. I guess that, right there, is my motivation :)


Janice La Verne said...

great post Michele,

it makes me want to write about motivation also...

i truly think you have turned a difficult situation into an asset. You are right about having a TV. We have one, but have no cable. I quit watching it for the most part and feel my time is much more productive.

what a great success you are!

Anonymous said...

Yay Michele!
I also hate retail, but find it's the only job I seem to be qualified for.
I also can relate about proving people wrong, that you can be an artist and make a living.
I am still working at a bookstore, but working on my paintings and books and having an outlet,(Etsy),to sell them has really helped me feel nearer to my dream.
You are such an inspiration that this can be more than just a hobby. Thank you so much!

o'reilly ink said...

I need a huge helping of motivation...argh.
I know EXACTLY what you mean about the retail jobs-that's the only shit I ever end up in too! AND I HATE IT!!!
I can't WAIT til the day I can do my stuff full's all i seem to think about.

Michele Maule said...

Thank Janice!
I forgot to add that the people who read my blog everyday are are also a huge motivation for me! You all keep me wanting to make stuff to show you! :D

Barbara- I totally relate to your comment! When I worked at the grocery store I would hang out in the back room sometimes and just get so depressed about my job. I NEVER in a million years thought that I might be able to pay bills with my work. NEVER. But, here I am :) Yay! I know you will too! Your work is awesome!

If you think about it enough, and hard enough, I know it will happen. I thought about it everyday for 2 years. A lot of hard work, and you can get there. Promise.

Sorry, I sound so corny. Like a motivational speaker, but seriously. It is a lot of work, and a lot of effort, but if you are willing to make sacrifices and put in some long hours, you can do it. :)

Michele Maule said...

oh! and o'reilly!
Your work is so bold and colorful! Love it! and you're in the CIC team. Awesome.

Comfortably Lovely said...

I'm right with ya on number 5. We are like two old ladies. Thanks for adding my site, I appreciate it... I haven't put as much effort into my blog as i should because i don't think anyone is reading it... .but maybe they will. And I will start taking more pictures of works in progress. perhaps.

Anonymous said...

hi, thanks for the post reply! haha. well i guess i'm just in an awkward position right now so it gets me down. I'm back in art school and i'm 34. i'm in my last semester though so it's the final stretch. I had 7 yrs of college previous but in the end only had 2 associate degrees....for years it drove me crazy that I still didn't have a BFA. So i went back. The thing is the students are all in their 20's and i'm even the same age as some of the professors. So it's been really, really tough to deal with on so many levels. Now that i'm so close to finishing I'm just worried about being able to make work without the pressure of classes and of course the "am I good enough" issues. i feel like it's so easy to give up! Those outside of the field we are in think it's so "fun" and don't realize that as artists we work 24/7 cause it never stops.

i also don't know what direction to head in. Fresh undergrad but I'm gonna be 35! hahaha

my site is a mess, but I have a link to download a powerpoint file of some work. i'm hesitating but here it goes.


ps. i look at your blog daily :)

Manon Doyle said...

I loved your post!
When I was majoring in fine arts I can't tell you how many people told me you can't make a living in the arts! Just like you I worked in retail for awhile then offices but I hated both! Better to do what you love and figure out a way!!

alice said...

Thanks for sharing, that is really interesting and motivating for others too!

Michele Maule said...

Hey Maria!
Congrats to graduating, and an extra congrats to graduating in the fine arts field. Your prints are beautiful! I love the more organic looking ones. Lovely!
I can imagine that is was a little weird and difficult going back to school, but you should be really proud of yourself. So many people don't go back because they feel awkward about the age difference. I took some graphic design classes last year at the community college, and I was one of the oldest people there, and I am only 28 :)

Megan Chapman said...

I have gotten behind in reading your blog for obvious icy reasons but I had to stop by while enjoying the warmth & internet of an office at the university. I love your blog.I love how motivated and inspired you are, I love your off and blah days too.
and I really love your work.
You are like a ray of sunshine.
How funny that you are from rainy Portland but it makes perfect sense too. Congratulations on all your much deserved success and accomplishments!

krystyna81 said...

love that the photo has your red sneaker in it!!!

thanks for the great post...with two kids running around and demanding attention ALL DAY, I am STARVED for time in my studio...but the motivation is sometimes sparse...I feel ya!