When my art career starting taking off recently, I felt proud, relieved, and excited. I have been diligent and focused on creating new works, exhibiting my work, putting together beautiful frames, handling all of my own printing, creating websites, a personal facebook page, a fan page, and a twitter account. I have taken studio lighting classes, am a member of Professional Photographers Association (PPA), and have entered numerous juried shows. The list goes on and on. Creating art and running a business simultaneously has proven to be a huge challenge.
However, it occurred to me that all I really did was one thing: I worked hard. When I got honest with myself, I realized that I received a lot of help along the way. My former partner Ferrell had purchased most of my camera equipment for me. My good friend Jim Ferguson from Beaumont taught me most of what I know about lighting. Don Strange mentored me on how to run a business. Ken Maxwell helped me brand my name as an artist. I received loans to pay for the art exhibits I hosted. I received emotional support from my mom and my brother. Ellie Alonzo, an intern from TWU, has worked with me for several months, optimizing my website, calling on galleries for representation, creating new brochures, and entering my work in juried shows.
The ONLY thing I had to do was try. Did I have some talent. Yes….some. Do I have a good work ethic. I do. But could I have become a successful artist all on my own without the help of many others. No way.
The reason I am acknowledging this is that most of us, if not all, get help along the way. I believe that it is our duty to then pass it forward, and either mentor someone else, do volunteer work, or give back in another way. As Zig Ziglar once said, “If you help enough others get what they want, you will get what you want.”
So I want to thank the people who very unselfishly gave their time and effort in helping me get established in my art career. It is now my commitment to pass this along to others in their careers and in their lives.