Years ago I came up with a name for my alter ego. Her name is Kaiju Cherrytree, and she’s supposed to be my powerful side who can succeed at anything and isn’t afraid of what anyone things (like Beyonce has Sasha Fierce). And yeah, I know Kaiju is a film genre having to do with big monsters like Godzilla. And the cherry tree usually symbolizes the fragility and beauty of life, at least according to Wikipedia. So I guess those two things together, for me, might mean a giant awareness of how wonderful life can be, and that I only get to be this person with these skills this one time for such a short while, that I want to really, fully live my truth and fully embrace all that I can be.
I’ve never put it into words before, exactly what it’s supposed to mean to me. The reason I’m doing it now is because I want to start living as this other me when it comes to pushing myself and succeeding.
Right now I’m a stay at home mom and (very) part time freelance writer. I have an undergraduate degree in studio art and a graduate degree in health sciences that I finished up just before my daughter was born in 2014. I’ve never worked in the field I trained for (health education) and don’t think I will. Recently I applied to another graduate program, this time with the intention of becoming a guidance counselor.
The thing is, what I really want to do is be a full time artist. And probably a part time writer, because the two seem pretty tied together for me. I’ve loved art since I was a little, little girl, but I always believed the old “you can’t make money as an artist” story. At first I thought I’d be an art teacher, but I switched schools and didn’t finish that program, and thus sort of fell into some graphic design work for a while, but I wasn’t crazy about it.
My creative self has emerged over and over again, and I’ve made plenty of pretty things over the years. I’ve dabbled in weaving, making polymer clay creations, drawing, painting, and recently have been experimenting with hand lettering.
If I get accepted into the guidance counseling program, I’ll start back to school full time (at night) in a little less than a year. And then I’ll be in school for two and a half years, including summers. And then my daughter will be old enough for kindergarten and I’ll be looking at getting a “real” job.
It’s not that I don’t think I’d enjoy being a guidance counselor, I do. It’s just that I really, really, really want to see if I can making money being an artist. My dream is to have my own studio behind the house (the house that we don’t own yet, but it’s out there somewhere). For art to be my full time job. To have my designs licensed and on products in your house. To have a flexible schedule and permanent freedom.
That’s why I need to tap into Kaiju Cherrytree. I need her strength and her persistence. I need to keep going and to believe in myself.
I’ve had a zillion blogs before, but I’m starting this one anew with my design studio name: Honestly Jen Designs. I’ll be blogging here once a week about my journey, about art, about succeeding at your dreams, about how to build the right life for you. Thank you for being here.