I leave my professional life out of my artistic life. I am a teacher and being a teacher can overrun your life. In that role, however, I have the opportunity to work with amazing people everyday and yet some how, I AM the teacher...I am not sure what that is really all about.
I quickly learned that as a "teacher," I did not have much to teach my "students". Sure, sometimes my years of experience gave me insight on an issue they did not have. Sometimes my college degrees gave me an upper hand on a subject matter. But the dynamic in my "classroom" was different because we were all learning from each other. To that end, I share a room with 150 to 200 great people five days a week. In that room, we widen our perspectives on issues, expand our understanding of topics, and challenge each other to become better citizens of the world. So while I may leave my professional life out of my artistic life, I certainly cannot leave the amazing people I have met in that "classroom" out of any aspect of my life. As much as anything else, this post is in appreciation to one of those people...Jackie.
First, Happy Birthday, Jackie! (Congratulations you didn't die for the last 365 days! #DrewDudley)
Second, THANK YOU, JACKIE! (More about that later.)
Third, (and the point of this blog post) if you are an aspiring artist of any medium from anywhere in the world, find your own Jackie! (Seriously, get your own, you can't have mine.) Jackie is an inspirational, motivational, technological creative marketing guru who believed in me before I even thought I needed someone to believe in me. This blog, this website exists because of her and she does not even realize she did it--one day she just said, "Hey, we need a website!" and then she helped me figure out how to build one. One website became two websites, two became three, three became four and four became a blog, a vlog, a podcast, and two online stores. She pushed me to expand my writing skills into a whole new world of communication with one simple vote of confidence and as an aspiring artist, you need that support!
Aside from her general awesomeness, Jackie taught me some invaluable lessons (now back to the thank you part). She taught me that you don't have to walk the tidy path laid out before you just because it is there. She taught me that it is OK to say no to authority--that authority might not understand you anyways. She taught me following traditions just because they are traditions is a little silly, you can always make new ones afterall that might be a little bit better. She taught me to make peace with my own heart. And she taught me that the people who love you will always love you, because you are the best you that anyone can be.
Right now, Jackie is thinking...I didn't teach you any of that....but, YES YOU DID, JACKIE!
So, I just want to say thank you for making my life better and Happy Birthday! I love you, Jackie, you mean the world to me! And everyone needs their own Jackie in their life (no, mine is not available on loan...again...get your own!)