Holding the Key

Echo-4, 18" x 18", 2005, mixed media by Karen Tashkovski.

Echo-4, 18″ x 18″, 2005, mixed media by Karen Tashkovski.

So many bloggers are out there offering positive affirmations to help you make 2015 the best year ever — things akin to believing in yourself and following your dreams. I can’t believe how many advocate quitting your job to follow your passion.

Please don’t quit your day job, people. There is plenty of time to make things happen after work and on weekends. It’s all about time management. Art is something everyone should be doing in one capacity or another. Or maybe I should just say being creative, because that is what the world is looking for — creative thinkers. Outside the box and all that.

I have a lot of goals for this year, but I have to say that 2014 surpassed my expectations in so many ways. I faced fears and made decisions that really changed my life. I’m proud of myself that I took those necessary baby steps. I feel like life is just some kind of a roller-coaster ride, and once you realize that you are strapped in, you can just go with the flow. Let the ride happen. When you start worrying about stuff, you end up like that guy in Vegas who got stuck on the zip-line and had to be rescued. It’s great that there are people out there who will always help you when you get stuck, but being a damsel in distress is the stuff of fairy tales, and in reality, it’s way better when you can just save yourself. Or better yet, be a person who doesn’t need to be rescued at all.

Karen Tashkovski, Key, 30" x 30", 2000, oil, latex & collage, $675

Karen Tashkovski, Key, 30″ x 30″, 2000, oil, latex & collage, $675

Is life a roller-coaster or a dream? I wrote down some very specific things I wanted for myself in 2014 and they happened within three months. It was freaky in a way, like I had the skeleton key to the universe or something, which explains why I wasn’t completely successful in bringing everything to fruition (I got a little cray-cray). My blog and website, putting my artwork out here in cyberspace, getting financial stuff in some semblance of order and other private-life stuff that I’m still trying to process.

Maybe I should throw out more desires and see if they boomerang back as a manifestation of more dreams. I want to sell my art. I want to fill my passport with stamps to at least three countries in the next three years (France, Scotland and Greece come to mind since they are the ones illustrated in my heart-quilt paintings). I want to fix the roof on this house before it is beyond repair. I want to live an even more creative life and spend a lot more time laughing, and making art and… I don’t know.

Pablo and Georges. Photo by Karen Tashkovski.

Pablo and Georges. Photo by Karen Tashkovski.

Maybe I should quit promoting my art altogether and just blog about my cats. I have spent several hours a day this vacation on all the re-tweeting and tweeting I’ve been doing on Twitter. I mean hours of contemplating what to tweet that will bring visitors to this website and ultimately sell the art so that I can make more paintings and enjoy the benefit of financial success — be able to live the life I’m sure I want. Just for fun, I tweeted a picture of my cats — my favorite picture taken months ago, but as you know when you have two cats, it is nearly impossible to get a good picture of both of them at the same time. They’re very wriggly. I’ve taken hundreds of shots of them just to get this one good one. So, I put it out there and it went sort of viral — the kitty tweet that went around the world or whatever. Favorited by probably a hundred people and re-tweeted so many times I was like, what-what? Are you kidding me?

Now, if I can only get half of those people to purchase some of my cat motif paintings, I’ll be in business. I will literally have a business. Lol…you have to laugh. You really, really do.


Karen Tashkovski is a visual artist and art teacher from Syracuse, New York. She is a graduate of Syracuse University (BFA in Fashion Design & Studio Art 1985, MS in Art Education 1993) You can find her at karentash.com. Her art is available here and on Redbubble.

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