Let's get creative! Being a creative person in the world today has it's challenges. I've been a professional musician since before I graduated from high school, I get asked on a regular basis, "What is your day job?" or, "Do you actually make a living playing music?" and I'm always honest. Yes, I do have a day job, I'm a musician and, yes, I make my living at it. Friends who own Slow Rise Organic Bakery, a small wood-fired bakery on Gabriola Island, get asked the same questions just as frequently. They say, "We make a lifestyle". I've decided to steal that. And eat a lot of their gorgeous breads and scones. And struggle to maintain a lifestyle as a professional musician living on a beautiful island.
Growing up a creative person, I've always known what I wanted to do with my life. Or, I should say, what I must do with my life. The arts have always held a strong hold on my heart and I've been very fortunate to have been given some great opportunities. I've also worked really hard. But, in conventional school, one is forced to decide which arm of the arts to focus your energies. Music presented itself as the most likely candidate and the rest is history.
But, all my life there has been visual arts, drawing, painting, ceramics. Plus, I've always wanted to go to art school. So, over last winter (2013), while I was complaining about the perils of the music industry to my wife Penny, she said, "Go to art school already!". Feeling very grateful for my wonderful spouse's support, I researched, decided to get a portfolio together and apply to go to Vancouver Island University. I was finally going to go to art school! Plans were made, interviews had (and nailed), my best pieces from the last 20 years were put together as a body of work. That felt pretty good! I even got a scholarship from the Nanaimo Arts Council. I was on my way to becoming a student again for the first time in 20 years! And I was finally going to ART SCHOOL! I even got a scooter.
Living in a small community, word gets around fast. Specially when the word is something not expected. Art school? Really? Nearly everyone I know has been so supportive and excited about me going to art school, many saying that was a dream they've had too. This bolstered me and I am really grateful for that.
Fast forward to summer of 2014: gigs with The Kerplunks, traveling across the country playing music, making an epic music video, it went by so fast. I barely had time to think or plan for art school. I was also tired and felt generally unwell. I just chalked it up to business and stress. Then, finally, Labour Day long weekend! Ah, a much needed weekend off! I could finally sleep in. However, sleeping was almost all I did as a feeling of overall severe malaise and exhaustion overtook me. I thought I was nervous about going back to school, it was all in my head, I must have food poisoning. I couldn't eat and could barely get out of bed. By the time Tuesday came around (the day before my first classes), I reluctantly drove myself to the clinic.
With one poke of my belly, the doc called the ambulance and I was on my way to the hospital, on the next ferry: Appendicitis. I couldn't believe it! Then the reality of the situation hit me. I'd be on the chopping block within the next 12 hours.
It's been just over three weeks since the surgery. I had an abscess on my appendix that had ruptured and the surgeon had to remove some of my bowel. Needless to say, recovery has had it's ups and downs. I'm able to go for walks again, which is great! My dog Indy is my little guardian angel. She barely leaves my side. Looking forward to when we can soar for hours in the forest together.
School? Well... Not in the stars yet. But, since I carved out the space to go to art school, I'm still dedicating myself to the practice. And this is my path. It is my intention to share work here and on my Facebook and Instagram pages.
Thank you for reading! There will be more.