Guiding My Daughter, Fueling Her Passion

I grew up in a family of four girls.  As the oldest, I was told whatever I did was the minimum bar for my sisters.  That meant excelling in school, sports, and being a good role model.  As I grew up and starting to get ready for college, my father guided me towards business.  He told me then, you have the personality for it and my sense is you will always be able to support yourself.  I followed his advice.  I did well.

Fast forward, my daughter is getting ready to go to college.  She shares with me that she is interested in majoring in journalism.  I feel a little panicked.  Spend in print has collapsed. While there is the notion that content 

mom and daughter at a concert
Following Your Passion

is king, will she be able to support herself without relying on a dual income to get by?  I acquiesce to her desire but share she should also dual major in business.  That could be her safety net.   In her freshman year,  she thrives in school with high honors and taking in all that college has to offer.   My daughter enjoys the Big 10 sports at Michigan State, rushes a sorority, makes nice friends on her dorm floor, and scores an internship writing for the Odyssey Online  .    My daughter Haley, has done an amazing job this summer writing thoughtful pieces that appeal largely to college aged kids.  Her talent shows through and her eyes dance when she speaks about it.  Here’s a  link to one of her latest posts.

It’s when I start to read her writing that my own advice, not the advice my father gave me,  comes to the forefront.  As a manager for a technology company, I consistently coach people to tap into what gives them energy.  Find jobs that contain a lot of those elements that get you excited.  It makes work, not work.  In fact, if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life.   This week I mentioned to my daughter a few things:

1. You are amazing and talented.

2. Always follow your passion and rewards will follow.

3. Skip the dual major if it’s writing is the path you want to pursue.

4. You are the minimum bar for your brother.

I guess an apple doesn’t fall that from the tree.

The Future is Female if We Make it So

I started abstract painting about a year ago.   Painting on the weekends became a great source of joy and relaxation. It has become a pretty important focus for my life and personal satisfaction.  I don’t think I will ever stop creating.  As my paintings evolved ,  I started to receive positive feedback.

Future is Female
Future is Female Art Exhibit @skartspace

I thought it would be interesting to try my hand at being a professional.  My goal here was to pressure test whether my work was good enough and also continue learning about art.

A new gallery Skartspace , in Brooklyn, NY was putting together a show to celebrate and recognize emerging female artists,  I looked at the posting on Instagram several times before pulling the trigger on the last day and the last hour that submissions were due.   I was thrilled when three of the seven pieces,  I submitted were accepted.

It turns out that SKartspace is behind a tremendously important cause. There is a massive need to promote Women in the Arts.  Here’s a few not so fun facts about the representation of women in the Art Industry today sourced from the National Museum of Women in the Arts:

  1. 51% of working visual artists are women.
  2. 29% of solo exhibits are women out of 590 exhibits in 70 institutions over 6 years.
  3. Only 2 women made the list of the Top 100 Most Expensive Artists.
  4. 3-5% of all art works hanging in museums were produced by women artists.

I am proud of the SKArtspace in Brooklyn for putting this show on.  If you want to see change in the world, be the change in the world.  These three powerful ladies are making a difference.  I look forward to participating as an exhibiting artist, learning from other artists, and certainly will commit to helping to build awareness of the under representation of Women in the Arts.

“It is the mainspring of life, courage. And courage has many faces.” – Italian writer and reporter, Oriana Fallaci.

If you feel that we can do something about this and want to be a little more courageous,  please share this post with the #5womenartists . This hashtag is part of an awareness initiative sponsored by the National Museum of Women in the Arts to shine a light on this issue.  Alone we are one voice, together we are a large booming megaphone.

#5womenarts #hipandfab