Adventure Ahead

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When I was a little girl, I used to think I was a changeling. You know— a fairy child that had been swapped with my parents’ real human child. I thought this because there were times when I would be out in the woods bending down to take a close look at a flower, or catching a bit of cottonwood drifting lazily down to earth, or watching the sun dapples change on a green-canopied gravel road, when I would feel this overwhelming emotion surge through me. It was a strange and wonderful combination of an abundance of Joy, a sense of belonging and home, a feeling of otherness, and a deep longing as it disappeared.

This happened to me mostly in nature, and no one had ever mentioned anything like it to me, so I started to have a vague belief that I was different, and I must belong somewhere else. Hence my belief that perhaps I was a Changeling.

In nature wasn’t quite the only time this happened to me. As some of you may know, I have an incredibly vivid imagination, and when I was a little girl I used to pretend to be different people—and fully take on that identity, so much so that I wore my Peter Pan costume almost constantly, didn’t answer to my own name, and crowed myself hoarse when I was four. I went through other character phases (including Helen Keller and Penny from the Rescuers Down Under), and played at being in plenty of other stories. Often when I was “in” these stories, having an epic adventure in my backyard, I would get that “Changeling” feeling again. It was like I had somehow seen past a curtain for a split second to something that was bigger and truer than what it looked like on the outside.

This “Changeling” feeling isn’t unique to me, or to childhood. When I went to college and began studying the telling of stories, I discovered many others that have felt the same type of thing, although it’s a little different for everyone. C.S. Lewis calls it “Joy.” Frederich Bencher talks of it. It blew me away to discover that I wasn’t alone.  I started searching for more accounts of it, more ways to talk about it. What words do you even use? For a long time I used Gary Schmidt’s “something about being human,” to mark the place of the “Changeling” feeling.

Somewhere along the line I realized—though I didn’t know how to explain it—that it  was God. I still didn’t feel like I had quite gotten to the bottom of it, but it had to do with God.  This seems incredibly obvious to me now, but at the time it blew my mind.

Between my junior and senior year of college, when my anxiety and depression really started getting bad, I started this blog and my senior project, On the Lookout for Hope, to capture some of those hopeful everyday moments that made me feel “something about being human.” Those true little moments that stand out somehow.

I left it at that for several years. Then a few months ago, right when Ethan and I thought we knew where God wanted us for the next year, plans changed. One a long road trip a few days later, we talked once again about our long-term dreams of having a creative business together and what we thought God might be calling us to. As we pondered all this, God started tugging on our sleeves, as it were. We talked about things we were passionate about and gifts God has given us, and over the next few weeks, God kept nudging me to dig deeper into the old “Changeling” feeling, and what He was trying to teach me through it.  We started making actual plans to pursue a creative business together, doing a lot of thinking and praying about what God was calling us to.  I was sure it had something to do with the “Changeling” feeling, but not completely sure what that meant or would look like.

Cue several months of praying, journaling, business classes, and long discussions in coffee shops. There were major revelations, reminders of past lessons learned, and wisdom from friends and family. Slowly, with many revisions, it started coming together for me, and for us.

On the Lookout for Hope has been an important—if sometimes neglected—part of my journey as an artist and a Christian.  It got me through some very, very difficult times. And now it’s time to say goodbye—not to what this blog stands for, but to this particular chapter in my story, and to move on to the next big adventure God is calling Ethan and I to together.

Which is why, starting tomorrow at 10am central time, the url for On the Lookout for Hope will redirect to a brand new blog that Ethan and I will be writing together that builds on everything we’ve started here in ways we could never have imagined. We'll explain more tomorrow at 10am.

Thank you so much, each and every one of you, for all your support and for sticking with me through the life of On the Lookout for Hope. I couldn't have gotten here without you.

We hope you’ll come join us in the new conversation we’ll be starting in this new chapter of our lives.

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Why Do Stories Matter?

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Most of you probably know I’m kind of obsessed with story. Maybe some of you don’t—it hasn’t been, of itself, the central focus of Lookout for Hope. Lately, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about story—more on that later—and I want to tell you a bit about why I love story, and why it’s so important.  It’s long, and may feel like it has nothing to do with stories at first, but bear with me. Let’s start at the beginning.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen. 1:1

You’ve probably heard this a million times. “In the beginning.”  The beginning of what? The world, you say. History. Right? 

Sure. But I think Moses, the writer, who was really something of a poet, is telling us more than a scientific fact here. “In the beginning,” feels like the start of a great epic. A kind of “Once Upon a Time.”   And in some ways it might as well begin with that, because what follows is an incredible story, full of betrayal and love, fantastic beasts, an evil villain and a great hero, sacrifice and death and the magic of an incarnation and resurrection. “In the beginning,” is the beginning of a Great Story, told by a Master Storyteller.

I think it’s appropriate to call God the "Master Storyteller" because He did, after all, come up with the world we live in. He’s the one with control over what happens. And He’s the one who, when his characters choose to disobey Him, wrote in a twist with a Hero that was magically both God and Man, who had the power to defeat the villain and restore our relationship to Him. God is the Master Storyteller.

There’s another really cool thing about God being the Master Storyteller.

“Then God said, Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness…" Gen. 1:26a

We’re made in the image of the Master Storyteller. I think part of being in His image is having stories in our hearts, as part of us, as well as having a need to create and tell stories of our own. And we naturally understand a lot of our world through stories.

Why do you think Jesus told parables?

I used to think it was just because we were stupid and couldn’t understand what He was saying any other way. Which is partially true. In which case it’s already awesome that the God and Creator of the Universe would bother to try to explain something to us dust of the earth anyway.

But the rest of it, is that He knows story is in our hearts. He put it there. And He put it there because it’s in His heart, too.  That says volumes about God, and our relationship with Him, doesn’t it?

And guess what? There’s more.

Ever notice when you say something exactly like your mom? Or a sibling moves in a way that looks exactly like your dad and you do a double-take? It’s crazy, right?  We subconsciously do or say things in a way that mirrors our parents, and I think this happens when we tell stories, too. God is the Master Storyteller, and we have some of His Image in us, so when we go to tell stories, not only do we have our experience of the story we’re in to inform us, we also have some of the original Storyteller, too. We tend to use a lot of themes and structure that mirror the Greater Story.  In this way a lot of stories point to the Greater Story.

[at this point, the author of this post was temporarily incapacitated by a geek-out session in which the words, “DUDE!” and “WHOA!” featured heavily, along with lots of arm waving.]

Stories—and not just Bible stories, but those included—can tell us about the Greater Story. And God. And us. And they are a part of us on purpose, put there by a God who is the Master Storyteller. That is why I think stories are so incredible and important.

Big Exciting Things!

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My husband, Ethan, and I are best friends. We’ve been best friends for a long, long time (we met when we were nine), and over the years have dreamed a lot of dreams and wondered together about what our future would be like. One of our dreams for the past couple of years has been to work together in a creative business, and although the full realization of that dream is still aways off, it feels a whole lot closer, because today it is my very great pleasure to announce the arrival of Ethan Klumpp as a studio member at The Chartreuse Umbrella!

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to be working with my best friend and partner in crime on this business, even if it’s only for an hour or two each week (he does have a full time job himself, you know)! This is the man who has supported my crazy decision to try freelance in the first place, who let me take over the entire living room with all my art stuff, and has listened patiently and spoken words of wisdom when I’ve explained how I’m agonizing over some business decision.

Some of you already know him, but I’ve asked him to introduce himself and explain a bit about how he’ll be involved in the studio. And afterwards, some more exciting news about big changes coming!

What’s your day job? I'm a third grade teacher.  I teach math, reading, and science, among other things, but my favorite subject is history because I get to tell my students so many interesting stories.  Teaching is great.  I get to be my naturally nerdy self and hang out with a bunch of goofy kids at the same time.

What will you be doing at The Chartreuse Umbrella?  I will primarily be helping out with our online presence.  That will mean writing some blog posts and taking a lot of pictures to start with, but I hope to contribute in as many other ways as I can.  Basically, it's my job to take things off Gracie's plate so she can focus more time and energy on creating beautiful artwork.

What are you most excited about doing at the studio? I'm very excited to be a part of what my wife does every day.  I love seeing what she creates, and I'm looking forward to really being part of the process.  I'm also excited about the photography part of my job.  I don't know much more about cameras than which end to look in, but I've wanted to learn more about them for a long time.

If you could learn how to do or be anything what would it be? Why? I like writing stories, so I'd like to learn to be a lot better at it.  I want to write good stories that are worth reading.

[HINT: this next question has to do with a big change in The Chartrese Umbrella’s direction coming up soon!!]

Why are good stories important? Our lives are stories and are part of a much larger story.  Telling and hearing stories of all sorts tells us a lot about right and wrong and who we are--about what it means to be human.

[surprised? Didn't think so...]

What’s your favorite medium? I'm not sure.  I like drawing with pencils and markers, but I'm guessing I'd probably like other things too if I learned how to work with them.

What your favorite thing to draw?  Goofy looking people and animals.  I used to try to be very, very realistic, but I wasn't very good at it, and at some point I realized it wasn't very much fun, either.

Can I show them a picture you drew? If you want to, sure.

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What’s inspiring you these days?  I'm inspired by the conversations Gracie and I have had about what kind of like we want to live together and what we want to do.  I'm excited to make it happen.

What do you do for fun? I love to read, play outside, go exploring, be in the water, and, sometimes, just be a big ol' lazy bum.

Anything else you want to say?  I'm happy to be a part of this.  It's going to be good.

I think so, too! Yay!

Two more things, really quickly. I promise.

  1. We bought a professional printer!

This may not seem like a blog-worthy bit of news, but it is, and I can tell you why: it means that I now can draw something tomorrow morning, scan it, color it digitally in the afternoon, print it out instantly and send it off to you in the mail the same day! Assuming that’s the only job I have that day, of course. But the point is, we now have a fully operational print shop that can handle most sizes and mediums I sell on a day-to-day basis, so you get your artwork faster, and much higher quality, because I have absolute control over materials and colors. SO pumped. As proof, I offer these pictures Ethan took of me while we were setting up the printer:

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2. There are big, BIG changes coming for The Chartreuse Umbrella.

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting anything anywhere for…uh…awhile. And for awhile that might continue, but I promise, it’ll be worth it, because we’re working on the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in this business. Soon, my friends, we’ll be able to share it with you. Soon.

For now, enjoy this sloth:

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Wonder and Majesty

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I absolutely love the book of Job--it speaks so beautifully of the pain and sorrow of life, but more importantly of the majesty, power and mercy of God in the midst of all of it. The other day I was re-reading chapter 41 about the leviathan, which has always been such a fascinating chapter for me.

"Here Goes--I mean Amen."

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A quick, favorite quote from Perelandra by C.S. Lewis. I was going to try to write a whole post about how awesome Perelandra is and how much I love this quote because it's real and raw and true and reverent all at the same time, but I couldn't figure out how to explain it all well, so you just get this extremely shortened version today.

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The Joys of Spontaneous Creation

I've really been enjoying creating original pieces! There's something about actually getting my hands dirty (and not being able to ctrl+z if I mess things up) that really boosts my creative process.  This one was literally inspired by a blob of paint. I was mixing some paint for something else, really liked the color I come up with partway, and had this crazy urge to just paint something with it. So I painted a whole piece of paper without a clue what I was doing. Then I knew I wanted to add something bright red, but didn't quite know what. So I grabbed some red fabric and starting cutting… All the other pieces just tumbled out in the same way, one thing at a time, nothing planned, and it was AMAZING. Whether or not the final result is perfect (it's definitely not), the process was extremely rewarding for me. I forgot to take process pictures all the way through, but I managed to document most of it. Here are some process pictures and the final image without the shadowbox frame:

Fall is Coming!

Fall is my absolute favorite season. The colors, the smell of it on its way, the crisp air, the apple picking, spiced cider,  pumpkin patches and bonfires and trick-or-treating… It's simply the best. Unfortunately for me, Texas (where I currently live) is not the best place to experience Fall in all its glory.  So I've been doing some wistful Fall drawings while heartily enjoying the short-lived cooler temperatures this past weekend. I've been working on a paper shadowbox version of this sketch I did last year:

Nov3_8x10_1Here are some process pictures:

Since all of that took a long time and I just wanted to crank something out one day, I did this quick little leaf, too:autumnleaf_gracieklumpp_web

Maybe I'll add these to the etsy shop soon. For now I've just been enjoying Fallish things!

Making the Best of a Biege Box

Beige apartments are gross. I get why apartment complexes paint all of their walls beige, but still. It's a depressing way to live. Last year (in another apartment) we painted over a couple of walls, which was very helpful, but also a lot of work at both ends, and when you consider yourselves nomads of a sort and  don't really plan where we're going to be more than a year in advance, sometimes it's just not worth it. Especially because I get bored with any arrangement and colors within a few months. I start getting restless and twitchy if I can't change things up. I think this just gets worse because of spending so much time alone--it's been a tough couple of weeks that way. My patient husband has learned to expect a complete re-arrangement of all studio (what would otherwise be living room) furniture every so often.  We moved into our current apartment in the spring, and, now, of course, right as school is starting back up again and Ethan's life is getting more stressful, I start getting the itch to change everything. I tried to keep it as painless as possible for him while still getting as far from our original set up as I could.

Another problem with our current apartment is natural lighting. There isn't much. It's pretty cave-like in here, except at just the right time of day (which is when I took the following pictures).  With my old setup I hardly had any of that rare natural light on my work area, so I changed it, and added lots of green to make it feel less beige. We binge-bought fake plants (because I can't kill them) and even a couple of actual living ones (because I still have hope).

Here are a couple pictures of the result so far--I'm not quite done yet.

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Since I've been alone so much and going a bit crazy, I also made this awesome desk buddy out of a ginseng plant (click on the pictures for a bigger view):

And added an inspirational speaking feather to my bulletin board:

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I've been doing more than just pushing furniture around, too--I have some new projects in the works that I'll be sharing with you soon!

 

Some Badgers

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Happy Friday, everybody! Have some badgers. Drawing animals is happy. Maybe it's because they don't have to be bothered by person things like jobs and anxiety and disagreements. Or at least they can just as easily be amused by a bug or happy in a patch of sunshine for hours.  That's how they always come out on my sketchbook pages, anyway. I like it. It's calming.

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Lighting No.1

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Today my husband gave me another great pep talk and a good suggestion--practice lighting.  I stink at lighting, and definitely want to get better, so: begin lighting practice.  Every once in awhile I'll post a new lighting exercise, and hopefully they will get better each time. :) I decided (at least for starters) to come up with a basic, almost empty room (so I'm not too distracted by story, etc), pick an angle, and light it during different times of the day. Here's sunset.

I don't feel the need to be incredibly realistic, I just want to improve. I felt pretty clumsy doing this, like I was stretching muscles I don't normally use, so it's probably a good thing I am.

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Mermaid Square and What is my Art Saying?

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The other day I had fun experimenting with some different styles, drawing things just because. It may not result in the most amazing artwork, but it's nice to free myself from having to create an entire story within a scene sometimes.  It's less pressure. Something I've been thinking about a lot lately is whether or not pieces like this, without a whole story, are really good art. They aren't saying something in particular.

(Let me clarify here that when I see other artist's work that doesn't tell a whole story or say something clearly, I don't automatically think it is bad art. This is me thinking as a self-critic.)

Maybe it's just my guilty nature, or one of my college professors in my head, but sometimes I'm not sure. The joy of creating is there, certainly, and that's good.  I think sometimes I put too much pressure on myself and my artwork to mean and say something very particular, and I'm not sure that's always good. I don't know. Anyway...

This one is a continuous contour drawing I finished off with watercolor.  I did a sketch first because I wasn't super confident in my ability to complete a contour drawing on the fly, and it's not really all one line, but it's broken up into one line sections. One step at a time.

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New Print Series at The Chartreuse Umbrella!

I'm pleased to introduce you to a new series of black and white, minimal art prints featuring animals with hipster glasses and quirky quote bubbles!

These goofy wildlife illustrations started as doodles to pass the time at an art show and turned out to be a delightful way for me to draw without worrying about making things perfect. Using sharpies forced me to let go and just enjoy the creative process, and what began with a simple, ordinary doodle turned into an extraordinarily freeing experience. It made me happy, and I hope these prints make you smile, too!

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Nothing Awesome, but I Drew Stuff

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Ta da. I did a few more (and better) sketches than this in the past week, but several of them are for a bigger project that I will share with you more later. :) I'm very excited about it, but I need to get a little more done before I can let you in on it. Soon though!

So in the meantime, enjoy these rather lame sketches.

"If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly." - G.K. Chesterton

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Some Good Advice

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My husband knows me very well. He is also exceedingly patient, which means every few months or so when I have another artist's identity crisis, he knows just what to do. He listens to me blubber for awhile about how lame I am or how so-and-so is doing this awesome thing that I'm not doing or how much I think my style stinks or how I'm scared to try all the ideas I get because I think I'll fail, and then is able to lovingly tell me how ridiculous and complain-y I'm being and point me in the right, positive direction to move forward. Ethan kindly handed me this index card one rather stressful, tearful afternoon last week:

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My husband is very wise. He also unknowingly prepared the way for me to begin reading my copy of Brick by Brick by Stephen McCranie. I just barely started it the other day, a few days after the previously mentioned crisis. If you are an artist, know an artist (especially if you're married to or dating an artist) or are a creative person at all, you should probably at least read the first few sections.  In the first few pages, you'll either learn a lot about yourself and some techniques for staying positive and creative if you are an artist, or understand more how your artist friend/spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend operates.  Anyway, as you might have guessed by the title, the book begins with the simple but somehow difficult-to-remember idea that to really achieve mastery of our craft, artists need to take things one step (or brick) at a time.  If we draw every day, for example, we can confidently say to ourselves, "the only difference between me and the master artist is time." I get totally hung up on various master artists' amazingness all the time. It feeds a lot of creative identity crises. Staring at the product of someone else's incredible talent is both inspiring and depressing, and makes it very difficult not to compare my own current skills (or lack thereof) with art they did after years and years of practice and hard work.

So. Rather than continue to berate myself for not drawing all the time and waste the time I could be doing something productive about it, I am following the good advice of my husband, and also Stephen McCranie, and am trying to do a sketch every day or so. Any of those who have followed my blog for any length of time know I've tried this before and it hasn't worked for very long. I have so far and will, I'm sure, miss some days.  I'm sure this creative struggle gets as old for you as it does for me, but I'm not going to give up trying, and it's helpful to have some folks keeping me accountable, so I'll be posting sketches at least every couple of days. Here are a few I did this past week, mostly prompted by Ethan. He basically sat me down, gave me a prompt, and  watched me draw so I couldn't chicken out or get distracted by something else.

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We Live Our Stories Too Small

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I’ve been wondering recently why I sometimes feel like I’ve missed the boat, or why I feel so insecure when others don’t approve of me or my work, or how, when I hear about other people doing amazing things with their lives, it makes me often feel inferior, and like I must be getting something wrong. Because if I think about it all logically, I can clearly see that I don’t have to be like other people I know, that I should just be me, that I don’t have to feel inferior just because I’m not doing the same thing, and that those people I think have really “got it together” probably feel the same way as I do sometimes. We as people are always comparing ourselves to others, asking other people to tell us who we are, and it’s not their job. That's another blog post, though. Back to the main idea.

I know we are none of us created for this world as it is.

“There are no ordinary people. You’ve never talked to a mere mortal.” -C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Even so, I function day to day as if we were, and as if this world were all there is. That makes every disappointment, every perceived failure, every comparison, every imperfect situation, more of big deal.

If I did have just one shot to get it all right, if there wasn’t anything else to look forward to, of course I would wonder if I hadn’t ruined my one chance, or compare myself to someone else I think got it right. If this was all there is, it would be quite easy for me to mess something up irrevocably, and very easy to worry that I had. I would probably have a vague sense that my life “should” be something else, even though I couldn’t tell you exactly what my life “should” be. If this is my one shot, the stakes are incredibly high, and I know I’m more than likely to fail.

And there’s always that one thing. That one thing we think (mostly subconsciously) will fix it all. We know we want—need—something, and we don’t have it. It must be_______.

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But that’s not how it works. There is no one thing that will fix it all here, on this earth. It’s never going to be perfect. That’s what would make this world so disappointing, if that were all there was.

But it’s not. This world won’t ever be perfect in this life, but it will when it’s all made new. There will be more.

As disappointing as it is that this life will never be perfect, I’m glad, too. I’m glad that it isn’t up to me (or anyone or anything else in this fallen world) to make things right. I’m glad I don’t have to live up to that, and that this world, and the story I'm in, is bigger than that.

And I think that’s how I’ve been functioning.  Honesty, I think that’s how most of us function. But that’s not how things actually are.

The truth is we don’t belong here, not as it is. The truth is, our life here on earth is just a fraction of our eternal lives.  I’m not saying that in eternity we’ll have more time to become famous, make money, etc.  I don’t think most of the things that matter to us now will matter then. But my point is if I back up a bit to look at my life in terms of eternity, most of those things I obsess about now seem tiny.

No wonder we aren’t satisfied even when we are relatively successful according to the world's standards.

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” –C.S Lewis, Mere Christianity.

I’m so glad the story I’m in isn’t really as small as I act like it is.

Trying Something New!

This week I finally found a bit of time for a personal project I’ve wanted to get to—trying a new medium.  I’ve been itching to do something I could actually touch for a long time (digital comes with a nice Ctrl Z button, but just isn’t the same). Awhile back I came across a very talented artist, Elly MacKay, who uses a paper theater for her artwork, so (after initially wondering why I even try since she’s so talented) I thought I’d give it a shot myself, in my own style, with some fabric thrown in. I’m thinking of trying more illustrations with at least certain articles of characters’ clothing actually made from fabric, but to just try it out, I stuck with a scene from one of my favorite books that wouldn’t involve as much preparation and time.  So here’s my first paper test—a scene from J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey.

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I wasn’t planning on putting in the text from the book, but it seemed to fit and I like the idea. I’m thinking of doing more illustrations from other books (probably more recognizable ones) and including bits of the text in them as well.

I absolutely loved this process, and really want to pursue it further. I’d love to do more of these, and will anyway for fun, but I’m curious what you all think before I get too carried away.

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For anyone that’s interested, here are some pictures of the process. Click on the images to read a little more about it in the image carousel.

Ok, So Where's the Boat?

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*****Please read all the comments on this post (click the “Comments” link above)—they are very insightful and express much better than I could what would have ended this post if I had followed the thoughts through further.

Also, I just want to clarify: Most of the time I don’t actually think I have really missed the boat, and I like my life right now. I certainly want to enjoy where I am at any stage in my life. I wrote this to express those moments of insecurity I feel, especially when someone I respect seems to think otherwise, or I feel like whatever I’m doing at the moment isn’t really meaningful. *****

I work part time at a little shop downtown as well as doing freelance illustration, and I enjoy it. It’s been a very rewarding experience for me. It gets me out of the apartment and connects me with real people in the outside world, which helps me on anxious days and plus also I get to help little girls pick out dresses for their birthday parties and fill little bottles with wonderful-smelling bath salts. What’s not to love?

But when I meet new people, I try to make sure they know I’m a freelance illustrator first, because it sounds more impressive and put-together than “Oh, I work part time at a shop downtown.”  Like I actually have stuff figured out, you know. But I really don’t. I’m very blessed to be able to do freelance. I do get to draw and design things and mostly set my own schedule. But even though I enjoy both jobs I currently have, and one of them is at least mostly related to my degree, I still wonder what exactly I’m supposed to do with my life and whether or not I'm on the right track.

Awhile ago I was talking to a mentor of mine who expressed some concern at where I was in my career and gave me some alarming statistics about job opportunities a certain number of years after college graduation. I’m not gonna lie, it kind of freaked me out. It got me thinking things like:

Where’s the part where I know I’m doing what I was created to do and I feel like I’m in just the right place and that I am right for it as a person? Have I just missed the boat? If I did, how do I catch up to where I’m supposed to be?  I don't think Ctrl Z works here. What if I want a studio job in two years and can’t get one? What if I was supposed to do that?

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Some other people talk like my life isn’t really meaningful yet because I don’t have children. So should I forget everything else and just start having kids?

Or I’ll get really fed up with all the stuff going on in the world, especially in churches, and just want to go tell people about Jesus because all the other stuff doesn’t really matter, and I wonder if I was just supposed to do that and be some kind of missionary instead.

How do you know what you’re supposed to do right now? How do you know you haven’t missed the boat? You get the idea. Lots of questions.

On one hand it seems silly that I ever even subconsciously expected to find the one thing—the one job, the one dream, the one path—that is right where I’m supposed to be, that I was made for, that is my story. Like I’m a character without a book, wondering around in a library, reading the back blurbs and expecting that at any time I’ll turn over my very own story and realize “This is it! This is the one! I’m here now, and it can get started.” And that if I don’t ever find my story, or I find it and don’t recognize it, then I’ll just be wondering around the shelves for the rest of my life feeling out of place.

On the other hand, I know there is a plan, a story, for my life. I’d like to think that I’m not just an extra in it. I guess I just have to keep trusting the Author, because at least I know he knows what he’s doing. Also, I don’t think I can actually mess up his plans. At least not permanently. And if I did miss an inciting incident in my story somewhere, he’ll bring it back around again so I can get it right the next time.

Welcome

Welcome to On the Lookout for Hope, a blog about this artists’ journey through life, with all the beauty and bumpiness along the way. I’ve just redesigned the blog’s look and honed its focus. You can scroll down to see a few recent posts, read more about the blog, peruse posts by category, and see my social links.  You can find all these things on the navigation menu to the left, along with the “Posts” link to take you straight to the content. Thanks for stopping by!