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The (Milk Carton) Studio Sessions – Humbly Independent

Published: April 12, 2017
By Rhonda Beckman

This week was a turning point in my life, as I resigned from being the Visual Arts teacher at the high school. Everything that I have been doing in my life has lead me to this point, kind of like the butterfly effect, but a bit more “bull in the china shop-ish” if you know me at all. I definitely don’t have delicate butterfly wings when I decide to embrace an idea whole heartedly. So as I reflected on the finality of my decision this week, I said to myself, “So, here I am….completely independent and doing my thing.” It didn’t take me long before I eliminated that thought, though. (This is when you should hear the sound cue of the needle screeching across the surface of the record as it plays.) For me to get to the point where I am the sole proprietor of my own business, it took a lot of support and interaction with a wide variety of people who helped, (even when they may have been a hindrance)! Did I mention I am a bull in a china shop? There’s no such thing as a hindrance in my world, just an obstacle that needs to be re-routed.

But I am here today because long after I had read him many stories and tucked him into bed, my son dragged his blankie into my studio and laid on the floor beside me, slowly falling asleep while I worked away on art pieces. I am here today because I had a sister as a role model, who walked away from a high paying job because she loved to bake and that was all she could think about doing, and took the huge step of picking passion over a big pay cheque. I am here today because I have parents that worry about me and give me guidance through all of the decisions I have made in my life. Sometimes they said things that I didn’t want to hear, but it helped me to grow into a stronger person and have different perspectives on an idea to think through. I am here today because I have a husband who really believes in just doing what you think is right to do at the time, and is genuinely happy to see me being me in all that I do. I’ve never been more me than I am right now. I am here because of my fantastic friends who have listened to me bounce my ideas all over the place and babble about my dreams for years. I am here because of all the students that have hugged me and laughed and cried with me over the years, sharing their artistic experiences with me and making me feel like I am doing an ok job as a teacher. I am here today because of the people that stop by my market booths and talk to me about my art, and want to have a piece of my creativity in their home. I am doing what I do today because my community supports my artistic choices and I am truly lucky to be a part of it. Thank you, for helping me get to this point. I am grateful to be an artist in Red Lake.

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