Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Never Too Late!

     Pam will tell you that a recurring theme for me is “I should have started earlier”.  I look at all the wonderful artists who knew they were artists, and got in the game early, and I wish I had made that decision.
     My thinking is that I would be that much further down the road in skill, knowledge and technique, if only I had made a move much earlier.  This also might be the case for a few of you.
     There will always be the protégé who has mastered some art aspect (he does one thing well, rather than being well-rounded in his skills), and has started his artistic journey.  For the rest of us, “it just ain’t so”.  Some of us stumbled into the party late, with no clue how to proceed, and are just trying to make art the thing work.  Still others have yearned to take the art exit, but are hesitant for many reasons:  spouses, family, security, something our dad told us --- they all come into play.
     For me, it was a profound decision.  I did not want to face God and tell Him I never used my talent.  Pam didn’t want me to reach the age of 70 and regret not taking the art off-ramp.
     The point is “It’s never too late”.  Pam is writing a novel with no thoughts of making an income from her efforts.  She writes because, she too has a gift, and she loves to write for the sheer enjoyment of it.  So she won’t be facing her Maker with a full pen and a blank piece of paper.
     So, what’s holding you back?  No one says you must make a living off your art, except you.  But there is nothing to stop you from enjoying your craft.  Do it for fun, or stress relief, or just because you like to give them away --- but do it!
     If your skill level climbs, sell a few to friends and family.  Moving to full-time is a natural progression.  Let it happen.
     When I was making folding knives I noticed something about the craft that got my attention:  the part-time knife makers were producing a better product.  Why?
     1) They didn’t have a time constraint. They could stick with a design until it was perfect.
     2) They had a relaxed atmosphere to work in; no pressure from a customer.
     3) They didn’t have to sell their product in order to eat.
     4) And most importantly, they had the freedom to try something new; a new design, a new mechanism, a new process.
     5) And finally, they just enjoyed the process.
     Being a part-timer, can work in your favor; so don’t get caught up in pressing the “full-timer” court.
     The real death knell comes for those who never start.  Once you start, it’s the beginning of the natural progression and you can determine how far you take this art thing.  Just remember that it’s never too late to start.  So what are you 
waiting for?

Content © Mark Kohler Studio.


  1. Mark, thank you for the much needed pep talk! The items stated in today's blog are so very true and strike a cord with me.

  2. Melissa, you've got the talent, you just have to make up your mind that you're going to do it. I'm behind you all the way!

  3. Hi, Mark
    I just ran across your blog. This is a great post and I identify with you because I'm 46 and really became serious about art just two years ago. I still run a business and paint at night, but after two years and about 120 paintings, things are starting to take off. Keep up the great work and inspiration. --Mark Yearwood

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Mark! Great to hear that you are pursuing your passion. Feel free to comment or get in touch, or if there is a subject you'd like to see posted, let me know!