Losing Your Way

October 17, 2013 | ChangingCourse.com

In a 2010 issue of More Bailey Jack recounts the years she spent in low pay, low satisfaction jobs. Her true love was art.

But everyone “knows” there’s no money in art… right?

Sadly, like so many people who fail to listen to their heart, Bailey had lost her way.

It wasn’t until her 50s that she finally found her footing and with it a new livelihood as a working artist.

Even if she’d wanted to take classes, Bailey couldn’t afford them. So she taught herself to paint. And as it turns out she was really, really good at it.

But how could painting ever pay the bills?

After all she worked from 3am to noon, including weekends and holidays. Since she could never attend weekend art shows she never bothered to apply.

And on her meager earnings she couldn’t afford to buy canvases anyway.

“A vicious cycle became my life,” writes Bailey.

Then one day while she was painting in her studio, a neighbor named Dr. Pam Barge came knocking. The certified life coach, and now friend, sat Bailey down for a long talk.

roadmapPam told her that without some sort of roadmap… a plan… Bailey would keep going in circles and getting exactly nowhere.

It was a break through moment for Bailey. “Sometimes a stranger has to open your eyes and ears to hear what your heart is speaking,” she said.

That very night, before going to her “dreaded, low pay unhappy environment job,” she wrote out a six month plan. One that would focus on the steps she needed to take and ways to overcome the obstacles holding her back.

That’s when Bailey came up with a creative way a way to afford “canvas.” After all, any surface can be a canvas. Right?

So she began to use whatever was available. She painting on bead board, vintage doors, cast away wood, even recycled cabinet doors. But she needed more. But with no money… what to do?

dogShe approached a contractor whose yard was filled with discarded kitchen cabinets. Unfortunately he wasn’t interested in giving them away or selling them.

Sadly a lot of people would have given up. Not Bailey.

Instead she painted a portrait of the contractor’s dog and offered it to him for free.

It worked!

Before long the guy was stacking old doors on her front porch by the dozens.

Bailey also squirreled away bits of money to pay the fees to get into juried art shows and began approaching galleries.

It was in one of these galleries where a buyer from HGTV saw one of her paintings and promptly bought it for one of the shows.

From there Bailey’s art career took off. Check out a small sampling of her delightful work here.

Today her creations, all in the same whimsical style as the dog and Princess Leyla paintings shown here, are featured in galleries throughout Georgia and Florida.

ladyShe gets to travel the southeast to attend juried shows. And a once far off dream is her livelihood.

Best of all say Bailey, “I love the fact that I am creating everyday some image that may make someone happy.”

Finally putting an end to what Bailey so perfectly described as her “ridiculous journey of avoidance,” came down to two simple steps:

  1. Listen to where your heart wants to go and
  2. Devise a concrete roadmap to get there.

Whether you’re 25, 55, or 75 — life is way too short to avoid your dreams. So what’s your plan?

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