The combination of patience and positive intention has led me to where I am today.
In 2015, I decided I was going to create my life around making art. I wanted to shift the focus of my life from making art whenever I had time (once a week) to actually being an artist. Once I made up my mind and set a clear intention, the rest seemed to resolve itself. The positive energy I put out resulted in some amazing and life changing opportunities.
After setting my intention, the next step was creating a better work/life/art balance. I currently divide my time with teaching preschool, working at a letterpress studio, and making my own art. I have the support of an awesome boss who works with my schedule. But, my life didn't change over night. I had to have the patience and really believe in what I wanted to create.
One of the hardest parts of this journey is when I don’t feel like making art. That lull almost makes me give up and doubt myself immensely. During those dips, my focus turns into finding opportunities or making my art more accessible. Having the patience to get through those downs is part of the whole art making process, although a very difficult aspect.E
art from meghan's 2016 gallERy show in India
My life now is in the best balance it’s ever been. I don’t think I could create and produce art eight hours a day. Thus, spending part of my day teaching uses another part of my brain and guarantees a steady income that allows me to be an artist. The letterpress studio job allows me to learn another medium in the printmaking realm while also being exposed to how a successful business is run. There is still ample time to create my own work and I even have a social life!
I don’t have a formal degree in education, but have always enjoyed working with students of all ages. Everything I have learned about being a professional teacher has been through observing, my own research, and my passion for the work. I can see the progress I've made in my teaching over the years but, again, I had to have the patience to get to this point.
Patience is not something that comes naturally to me. I have to work really hard every day and tell myself that what I want to achieve will not come instantly. I sometimes look back on past years just to prove what patience can accomplish. Over this short period of time I went from being completely exhausted every day to leading a balanced life I love and I am truly proud of.
All photographs courtesy of the author.
Meghan Shah is a teacher by day and artist by passion. She draws inspiration from life experiences rooting in her Indian American upbringing. This leads her to seek out adventure on a daily basis whether its navigating her day with a classroom full of two year olds or focusing on making monotypes at an artist residency in India.
Connect with her at MeghanShah.com or on Instagram @studiostrata.