I now have a daughter.

Life can get complicated overnight it seems, but this time it’s in a good way. In my quest for great artwork I have striven for quantity over quality, knowing that with practice quality would follow… Now with a baby re-arranging my priorities, I have quite a few things that I need to learn, multitasking and forethought being two of the most important right now. But my art will not fall by the wayside!!

I have recently learned of a great opportunity called ArtPrize. It’s one of the largest cash prize art contests in the world, albeit one of the most criticized by the powers-that-be in the art world. This is mostly because the cash prizes are awarded by the public, who vote on who they think should win over a 20 day period. The gears are set in motion. An ArtPrize account, Twitter, Facebook, possibly my own private website, professional networking, purchasing of supplies, shooting video, acquiring a location/vendor to display my work–the list gets longer by the day, and I am loving it! Art is my world, and my family is coming along for the adventure, with God as our guide!

Will I dedicate ridiculous amounts of time to this project? Yes.

Will I spend more money on this art project, more than I have ever spent before? Yes.

Will I struggle to meet the deadline? Undoubtedly.

Will my art get lost in the vast sea of artwork that flood the 3 mile square in downtown Grand Rapids? Probably…

Will I win? Probably not.

But that still won’t keep me from trying. I am more excited about working on a “serious” work of art than I have been in a long, long time, and it’s not just because of the potential for monetary gain either. I am excited to test my limits, to see what I can accomplish when I put my nose to the grindstone, to see what the result will be when I worry more about the work and less about the cost, to see what the world thinks of my work. I am the man in the arena.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

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