For three short months, Sharyn and I both worked in the photo labs at CCAD. She was beginning her graduate studies there just after I finished my undergraduate ones. She is hardworking, down to earth and passionate and has agreed to share some of her wisdom on The Hive.
Trying to operate in the real world, and be an artist.
Hello Honey Bees! I’m so glad to be able to have a quick little guest post on this awesome artist blog. Firstly, let me take a second to introduce myself. My name is Sharyn Beodeker. I currently am an artist making work through the combination of photography and craft processes! Specifically linking crochet, collage, and fiber arts with the digital photograph. I am originally from the Pocono Mountains of North East Pennsylvania, and moved to Columbus, Ohio, in August of 2016 to pursue my MFA at Columbus College of Art and Design. I love the outdoors, rugby, and reading. I work at Elevator Brewing Company’s tap room on Tuesdays and Sundays – so feel free to come grab a beer and chat!
Anyway, let’s get down to it. This past May I finished up my first year of graduate school and I was so looking forward to summer (mostly anticipating a break from classes, school work, and graduate assistantships with hopes of spending a lot more time reading, writing, and making work). Unfortunately this past month has been anything but what I had envisioned. Trying to operate in the real world and be an artist is quite the feat.
Upon finishing up the semester I almost immediately jumped into a full time job at Atchley Graphics working on their production team. Finding a job to cover rent, bills, and groceries was a priority for the summer, so this job definitely was a God send and I am super grateful for the opportunity. They were willing to be flexible with my hours and when I asked to have Fridays off as a reserved studio day, they were all for it. Awesome right? Well unfortunately according to my brain, working nearly full time at Atchley along with twice a week at the Brewery isn’t quite enough. Let’s add more to your schedule she said. It will be fun she said.
In addition to being an artist I have always been an athlete and it has always been extremely important to me that no matter what I find a way to keep both of these strong components in my life. Being an athlete and an artist has made me who I am and I am not willing to truly sacrifice one for the other. Maybe one day I will have to, but that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I come to it.
I’ve been playing rugby for about 6 years now so when the opportunity came for me to play with a high level squad this summer alongside some of my teammates from the 15s competitive team that I played with in the Fall I didn’t bat an eye. Sure I can go to practice 4 days a week, travel nearly every weekend, and work and get in my studio. My life was very similar when I was an undergrad – I can do it. Reality check. You’re not invincible Sharyn.
Now this isn’t a post to say you can’t do it all – if you want to you absolutely can, but the reality is, you may need to take a step back from one thing slightly to make another thing work. This is reason #1 why I made the decision to pull myself from one practice a week for the rest of the season so I can spend more time in my studio. I know, now you’re like ‘oh big deal Sharyn, one less day, are you really sacrificing’. I definitely think so. I’ve also realized that instead of getting home from practice at 9pm and laying around doing nothing for two hours I can better use that time for reading/writing or whatever is necessary to grow as an artist. Studio time doesn’t always mean specifically being in the studio but rather thinking about what you are doing to make your work stronger. What are you doing to become a better artist? How can you do that even at 9pm at night when you’re tired, sore from rugby, and just want to be a vegetable? You make yourself, that’s how. Where there is a will, there is a way. As cliche as that may be, it’s a good statement to go by.
So for those that are artists out living in the world, working for the man, and struggling – just know you’re not alone. For those that think artists just get to sit around all day, chill out, drink lattes and talk about their feelings – please read this post again. For those that are pursuing art or are thinking about pursuing it, know that it’s not an easy road, but that if you truly want it, you will work for it and you will find a way to make it all come together and throughout each struggle just know, it will all be worth it in the end.
Thanks for reading! If you’re interested you can check out some more of my work and experiences at sharynbeodeker.wordpress.com or my artist site at sharynbeodeker.wix.com/sharynbeodekerphoto (I promise I’ll buy the domain name soon).
Happy making y’all!