An Artist’s Life: Preparing for the Unexpected

Sometimes Life Will Throw Lemons in Your Way, Even a Lemon Tree…

There was an old say that goes, Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.

But it’s a Fact. Life does not care about your stupid plans. If it did I would not even need to rant about this…

No matter how well plan ahead, how you carefully map your routes, how much you study and anticipate, there will always be that one bad fruit that will pass your eyes and you will not notice until take a big bite and the rotting taste gets down your throat and ruins your appetite.

In other words, your plans are not bulletproof.

Beginning of 2019 I came up with an idea to create a web series on my YouTube channel about setting up my art studio in the back of my Toyota RAV4 and documenting what goes on there. I had bought the necessary gadgets and carefully mapped out a schedule of the days I would film, then planned out at least several episodes to be released during summer (I’ve recorded all this down on a planner, something I was never used to doing my whole life). I even arranged to promote it on my social media channels and practiced speaking up which I had not been doing for so long my voice sounds like a sick witch. It was in part a way to overcome that ‘stage fright’ I used to have; I always hated going up in front of a big crowd and talking out loud. I was actually going to put myself on camera and let the world see my ‘pretty face’ for the first time in like never. After all, being an artist is no longer about shutting yourself inside and studio and paint all day, you have to put yourself out there letting the public know of your presence.

Barely two months in, however, I had to shut down the studio.

My mom contracted pneumonia and sepsis and was rushed to the hospital. Thankfully she was saved, then spent a month in rehab center as the illness ravaged much of her already weak body (she had undergone several chemos years before for lymphoma). It was another few months before she eventually regained enough strength. During that time I was by her side caring for her needs with help of course from other family members, but even as everything settled back down I felt too pooped to resume the project, and just abandoned it altogether.

I recently watched PARASITE, the Korean movie everyone had been raving about and is the first movie from that country to every win Oscars, and there was one scene where the father was talking to his son and this answer hit me:

You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. No plan at all. You know why? Because life cannot be planned. Look around you. Did you think these people made a plan to sleep in the sports hall with you? But here we are now, sleeping together on the floor. So, there’s no need for a plan. You can’t go wrong with no plans. We don’t need to make a plan for anything. It doesn’t matter what will happen next. Even if the country gets destroyed or sold out, nobody cares. Got it?

Ki-taek(Song Kang-Ho) to his son Ki-woo(Choi Woo-shik), PARASITE, 2019

Looking back at my old planner, and how I had carefully written down my schedules and steps, ultimately not having gone through with it, that line from the movie said it all. Life is a road filled with many lanes and potholes, with occasional roadblocks and detours that will appear unexpectedly. You can never be fully prepared for anything, no matter how much time and money you spend preparing for it. And you know what, sometimes that can be a good thing, which of course depends on how you handle it. (I will save this part for another episode)

I’m not saying don’t bother with making plans. It does give you ground on which you can start working on whatever projects you have in mind. Just don’t get too married to it, and leave plenty of space for those unexpected drops of lemon that will fall on your path. Because that is Life.

Until Next Time…

2 Comments on “An Artist’s Life: Preparing for the Unexpected

  1. Pingback: An Artist’s Life: The Home Studio | the Artist as LISA LEE

  2. Pingback: An Artist’s Life: Enjoy the Ride, Wherever It Takes You… | the Artist as LISA LEE

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