Year One: The Freedom to Make my own Mistakes

I knew for a long, long time that at some point I would make this leap, but imagining it was so much easier than doing it. What you don’t have to do when you are in the safety of imagination and dreams is commit. Having to commit and go all in is the hardest part. You have to believe in yourself furiously, all the time. Because the stakes are high all the time. My advice to anyone who is planning a career transition into unchartered territory is to work on your self-belief. It’s essential to your perseverance which is how you get through many tough days. 

photo by Jay Lee for Cadette Jewelry

 

Working on your own and for yourself brings on so much responsibility because it requires you to be 100% self-directed. You have to wake up, and get to work everyday because there is no sick days or vacation days when you are chasing your own tail to make enough money to sustain your life and practice. I’ve really had to unlearn the 9-5 mentality and learn what my natural day to day rhythm is. That has been the biggest revelation. Embracing my own rhythm without guilt has allowed me to approach painting, and the various other tasks with more ease and less stress.

 

A Team of One

The goal is to paint as much as possible but surprisingly a lot of things get in the way. I’m responsible for updating my website, documenting work, editing, archiving, and sharing it, writing applications and keeping up with social media etc. Sometimes I will get into such a great flow in the studio and I run out of paper. So keeping track of my supplies inventory is important as well as thinking of new ways of staying organized. I have a storage closet in my apartment that I reorganized about 8 times this year to be able to sort and store supplies, and my completed works etc. It’s a seemingly small thing but it’s so important for the day to day to go smoothly and as a team of one I have to make the time to take care of these things. This year, I gained the confidence to make decisions about my time and where my attention is needed. 

 

photo by Jay Lee for Cadette Jewelry

 

On the Process

My practice has grown a lot over this past year and I have so much left to learn. It’s very exciting to be able to have a foundation to build on. There is an occurrence that happens when I am fully in the flow state. I am free-falling into the moment. I’m not sure how fast the time is passing, and the choices I’m making are so intuitive that they feel effortless. True creation happens in this state. This is what I am fighting to get to all the time. It is when I create work that pushes me outside of who I think I am as an artist into who I actually am as an artist. 

 

photo by Jay Lee for Cadette Jewelry

 

On the Big Picture

There are wild gender disparities in the Arts, certainly in Fine Art. Women artists are passed over for opportunities to show, representation, residencies, and sponsorships. It’s a hard fact. But a beautiful thing about our time is that there are new ways to connect and share our work (whatever you do). And in many ways for women in the arts, the age of social media has made big impact. This definitely does not counteract the weight of the history of passing over of women artists, BUT things are changing and evolving. 

 

Some 2018 Highlights:

‘A Love Supreme’ at Souvenir,

Writing for She Explores

‘Venus in Retrograde’ at Cedar Ridge

Being a Guest on the Dear Courage Podcast

Launching and Leading my Workshop

First year of LYS

 

I honestly don’t know how I can shatter the cliches of this sentiment. Maybe I can’t, but it doesn’t really matter because I feel so grateful and so happy.

To everyone who has invested in my work and supported me through this First Year thank you so so much! 

with love,

Oksana

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