While I waited for my cardamom and date smoothie, a woman from my yoga class took a seat next to me. We talked about the weather and our matching yoga mats. She told me that she'd like to start doing more yoga, because she sits at her desk all day for work. She said yoga has done wonders for her well-being because she hasn't been sleeping much lately or eating well. I couldn't help asking her what she did for a living that was causing all this stress on her mind and body.
She said she is an animator for Disney. She just finished working on the movie Frozen. I thought to myself, "WhaaaAAAaAaAAaaaat??" All my sisters' favorite movie at the moment is Frozen, (this includes Dia whether she will admit it or not.)
Before I wanted to be a musician, my childhood dream was to be an animator for Disney. This woman sitting across from me was living one of my childhood dreams! And I told her so.
She asked me what I did. I told her that I was a musician and a jewelry designer.
"That's so cool. You get to make art!"
"But you get to make art too!"
"Yeah, I know, but I'd really love to get back to working with my hands. There's this ceramic studio just around the block. I'd love to start taking classes."
On my drive home, I thought about our conversation. She must have been an artist since she was a little girl. It must have been extremely competitive to land her job at Disney. Now that she's there, I'm sure there is no shortage of starving interns willing to do anything to sits where she sits. But, yet she is still tired and frazzled and searching for something more.
Being able to create art in any context is wonderful, but to be able to make whatever kind of art you want, whenever you want, aaahh, that's the key to peace as an artist. To have freedom in artistic expression is what I believe this woman was looking for, and what I need to be more grateful of every day.
While I labored on Meg and Dia's last full length album, an A & R guy constantly added his two cents about the direction of our songs. At one point, I think he tried to turn a pretty, piano ballad into a raggae song! I kid you not. The producer had me on an extremely tight deadline. I'm sure our label called him to tell him to call me to tell me that "we needed an album LAST week, and if I didn't hurry up and write it…" So, yeah, I guess I know how the animator feels.
Now, I'm making my own art on my own time. I'm free. I'm so thankful for that.
Maybe you are thinking, "Well, that's great for YOU Meg, but I have classes I am obligated to attend and a job that isn't exactly stimulating". I understand. I've been in that position myself. You may have a superior, you may have deadlines, you may have limited choices.
I urge you to find time to make the kind of art you want to make. Steal 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or gasp, even an hour.
The art you are making IS important. Treat it that way.