In a season defined by transition, Im grateful for new direction and the promise of re-birth.
My move to Athens last fall, while rich and beneficial in so many ways, has been really hard on my work life. It illuminated for me the biggest pitfall in going from one big project to the next.
What happens when the next big project doesn’t come?
Well, I moved down here and the next project didn’t come. I worked on small pieces to keep work afloat and searched for the next big project in alternating waves of hopefulness and plain-old deep need. I, like most of you, am wired to need purpose and productivity, and I really struggled in the absence of direction and steady work to go to each day. Eventually, a few months back, I got to a place of being ready to switch careers. I wasn’t living “the dream” anymore. I wasn’t bringing in enough money to live off of and I dreaded going into the studio each day. I was done.
Thankfully by God’s good grace, Im surrounded by people who fight for me and believe in me even when I reach my limit. I was strictly told by everyone I talked to, that quitting art was not an option for me. So, back to the proverbial and literal drawing boards I went. In one week, God lined up two instrumental opportunities. First, my sister stumbled on a great art business course that was about to open its limited enrollment. I jumped on it and am now on week 8 of 12 in a class entirely designed to teach artists how to build a sustainable life from their creative business. Im soaking it all up like a sponge! Second, on a whim I went to look around my dream studio location and happened on a space, in budget, that had yet to be listed. I signed my lease and moved in 5 days later. I’m now working alongside other artists and creatives in a safe, clean environment complete with exposed wood beams and two story ceilings.
For the first time since I moved, I am excited to come into work every day and a little sad to leave it in the evenings. I’ve realized my style has changed. While Im still inspired by nature and spirituality, the way I want to express those things has changed. Im completely in love with Byzantine art and the murals found at Pompeii. *look them up* I’m obsessed with their colors and symbolism and the stylized way its all done. Im still working on a few remaining portrait commissions, but I am also diving into a whole new series unlike anything I’ve done before.
The new series will be made public the last weekend of September at the Altama Museum of Art and History in Vidalia, Ga. If you’d like to join me on this journey and watch as this new beginning takes place, go follow me on Instagram @meredithraifordart and be sure to come see it all live at the opening in a few months. I cant wait to share this adventure with yall! Thank you so much for your continued encouragement and support as I wrestle through this beautiful, creative life with all its twists and turns.