Friday, March 5, 2010

How Did I Get Here? (Originally Posted in June 2008)

I am recycling again. It's been a crazy week and I have a class tomorrow, but in light of the post I did last week about my bookkeeping job, I thought it would be fun to rerun a post I made in June of 2008 that tells a little bit of my story.

I was not one of those people who dreamed of becoming an artist as a child. I also did not dream about a career as an accountant either, but that’s where I was headed. Anybody familiar with Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” knows about the limiting belief that there can only be one artist in a family.

My brother laid claim to that title at a very young age. His talent was evident even as a preschooler. My brother, Joe Murray, went on to create and produce award winning animated shows such as “Rocko’s Modern Life” for Nickelodeon and the Emmy winning “Camp Lazlo” for Cartoon Network. On top of all that (and more important) he is an amazing father to his two daughters and the best brother a girl could ask for. He is currently working on an independent animated film titled “Fish Head”. Can you tell how proud I am of him?

While his career path was fairly direct, it was unusual because he never worked a job that did not involve his art. He never got to experience the joys of waiting on tables or making coffee for the guy that signed your paycheck. My own path, on the other hand, could have circled the planet a couple of times. Since I was not the “artist” in the family or the “athlete” (that would be my sister), I was the designated book worm. Every family has one – don’t they? I loved to read and still do. I was also fairly good in math so a business degree seemed to make sense.

I attended junior and state colleges up and down the state of California and when I was in my mid thirties and the mother of two adorable preschoolers, I finally ended up at Sacramento State University. Here I was, on track to fulfilling my requirements for an accounting degree, when I decided to take a photography class to satisfy an art requirement.

I had taken photography classes before and loved to take pictures of my kids but something about this class, taught by Ralph Talbert, ignited something in me that many would say was an obsessive but passionate love of photography. I could not get enough. I was the first to come to class and the last to leave. I read all the books I could get my hands on and even talked my husband into turning one of our bathrooms into a darkroom.

It would be a few years before I would actually sell a photograph I made, but that’s another story........

I never did get my accounting degree but I am one of the few artists I know that can do their own sales tax return!


  1. Do we have a lot in common? I am just short of a certification in business management. Had to drop out to let my wife finish her degree. The kids were left alone too much. It was her turn. I also can do my own taxes and file sales tax and estimated taxes and year end junk. But as an artist, I guess my greatest contribution is the smiles I have put on many peoples face. I am a cosmetic, restorative dental laboratory technician. Semi-retired. And, a want-a-be photographer. You are a photographer and artist. And a darn good one. I love your work.

  2. those of us who had to wait to become what we are suppose to be might be the lucky ones - the "fire in the belly" is stronger and we are more motivated.

    and also being older is a help, not a hindrance. thank goodness i "became" an artist in my forties - so many young ones waste their talent due to the lack of motivation!

    i am impressed you got the hubby to convert a bathroom!

  3. We are lucky you took that class and it ignited the photo flame!
    The Four Seasons blog is lovely too. Thank you for the link.

  4. My undergrad is in Business Admin! While I fought all the economics I had to take (even though it is an Art, not a science), I'm grateful that I can make my way around sales tax, federal tax, other taxes and understand how they work. Everything *does* work toward a common purpose!

  5. "the best brother a girl could ask for"

    i don't know, my brother is pretty great too...

  6. It is remarkable, it is a valuable piece