It seems the less one knows about life
The easier confidence comes.
When I don’t know what I don’t know,
More often than not, saying yes
Seems like the right response.

The more adversity I experience
The less likely I am to want to step
Out of my comfort zone.

I sit and watch young ones on the playground,
Climb to the top of a tower or
Balance on a beam high above the ground.
Exploring their surroundings as they explore
Their bodies, capabilities, and senses.

I see
Parents on the sidelines
Covering their eyes,
Yet ready to fly at a moments notice
To the aid of a skinned knee.
While secretly in awe of the confidence and bravery,
Of the children before them.

To follow a dream requires
Never-ending confidence,
Because failure is part of the process.
Just as babies learning to walk,
Each fall takes me further down the road.
Lessons of life do not deter me,
I let them inform me,
They lead me to the next steps.

I must nurture the magical child within me.
The one that gives me courage and confidence
To keep moving forward.
I must use those lessons
To allow the dream to evolve and change.
Refining it as I refine my decisions.
The dream grows and so do I.

Cheryl McDonald 2023©

If you would like to listen to me read this poem, please click below.

This digital painting is not new, but it has been reworked to expand and refine it. I call it the Crossing but it is really about Confidence. This little boy was walking his dog in Golden Gate Park with his Grandma several years ago. I loved the way the sun shown on his little red head and a sense of physical confidence that he had and I could picture him having no fear just walking across the Bay. It’s also funny that this dog looks like one of the dogs I have now!

I can easily imagine one of my very young grandsons, or even myself as a youngster, taking a walk across the San Francisco Bay with no fear. When we were younger, as with most children, we were courageous and ready to try anything. Still in their teens now my grandsons are still pretty brave, however, it seems the older we get the harder it is to do that. Maybe it is because we understand gravity and other laws of nature, or maybe it’s because we understand our mortality is looming closer and why tempt fate?
But even everyday life requires bravery and self confidence. Finding a job we love, or a partner, or following a dream that has been brewing in our minds.
We often let our resistance to change get in the way of stepping out of our comfort zone to do something different for fear of getting it wrong.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been told that pursuing a career in the arts is impossible and I should just give up and go find a real job. I have had many jobs doing lots of things I wasn’t very good at and although the pay was more regular, the satisfaction level was pretty dismal.

What I have learned over the years, is that an artist has to market themselves, no one can do it for you, and most business coaches have no idea how to sell art which is totally different from selling pretty much any other product. Because art is unique to each individual artist, blanket techniques for sales do not always work either. The key is following that intuition that led you to create in the first place to be the guide for your marketing of your art.

Artists are notorious loners and introverts also. We have to learn the skills of building relationships in order to be able to sell our work. We have to be willing to find and talk to those who will love what we do. Just a website or a social media channel without personal engagement does not work. And just like a child learning to walk, I am finding the path forward that works for me.

For those of you whose dreams are not of the creative kind, I am here to tell you that there is also a path for building your dream, and you are the one who can figure it out. Find your tribe, search out mentors who have done things you are interested in, build relationships with them and keep refining the dream because what you are creating is something the world needs. Fame, fortune, and life satisfaction rarely happen overnight. It all takes work. Each failure is a guide to follow to build to future success. The road forward is up to you, find your path and follow it. The world is waiting.
Have a happy day,

Published by cherylmcdonald

Thank you for taking a little time to get to know me. Making art has been my life, I love to tell stories through words and pictures. I am a multi-media artist working in photography, watercolor, various drawing media, and sometimes digital art.

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