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Periwinkle Dreams: Childhood Dreams Re-imagined


Photoshoot of Blume Bauer - AI Artist, illustrator, and coach -  covered in pink, blue, and periwinkle flowers and butterflies

What did you dream of becoming as a child? Did you do it? Or are you doing something vastly different?


I occasionally find myself thinking back about my childhood dreams. The first thing I could ever remember wanting to be was a ballerina-lawyer. I can’t recall if my childhood brain wanted to be a lawyer for ballerinas or a ballerina and a lawyer but it was most likely the latter. Even as a tiny child, I had big ambitions. If I’m honest with myself, my goal of being a lawyer was more about being rich than being in a courtroom all day but the dancer part was in my blood. While I never made a profession out of it, I did grow up to be a dancer and always will be. Dancing is an ingrained part of who I am. I love the structure of dancing in a group with windows and choreography and I love the wildness of improvisational dance and moving to the music.


As I grew up, I never had any inclination for law or legal work. I do love a thoughtful argument or even a mildly heated debate but the law felt too stuffy for me. By the time I was thinking about college, I knew I wanted to be an artist and a teacher. In my young mind's eye that meant painting all day in a studio, showing my work in galleries, and teaching art to others. In my younger years, I had no idea that there was any other way to be an artist. And I suppose that is what college is for – to expand our minds and help us find ways to do what we love.


Enter Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop 1.0 officially launched in 1990, while I was in high school. It seemed wild and crazy and foreign – but to me, it was mostly exciting. It could do things with images that we hadn’t dreamed of and made fast work out of laborious work like hand-tinting photos, colorizing photos, and hand-retouching (yes it used to be done with actual paint right on top of the photo). I remember a lot of people - especially artists - panicked. I understood it entirely. We had worked by hand for many years, as far back as people could remember, with things like paint and canvases and brushes.


When I got to college, I knew I had to learn Photoshop. I knew it would be a skill that would be very valuable in the future. Artists around me looked down on graphic design at the time and many thought it was a fad. I’ll grant them that it was very rudimentary at first and many of us were doing things like creating spheres all over an image – just because the software could do it. LOL! If I knew what I know now, I would have said we were in the R&D phase of graphic design (research & development). But things were moving fast and technology grew every year.


After graduating junior college, I got work doing an advertisement for the Yellow Pages. It was simple and quite plain but it was paid graphic design work and that was exciting. I worked at several jobs – receptionist and then production manager at a professional portrait studio, area manager and marketing team for Kodak, office manager at a silk screen shop, and president of a non-profit organization. All the while, I continued doing graphic art as a side gig. I loved it and it fueled my creativity. I also still painted and created crafty things, but I loved working with people to make their ideas a reality with graphic art.


Photoshoot of Blume Bauer - AI Artist, illustrator, and coach -  covered in pink, blue, and periwinkle flowers and butterflies


Still having that lingering dream of “ARTIST” painting in a studio and selling artworks at galleries, I quit my job at the silk screen shop and went back to school to get my Bachelor of Fine Art with the intention to go beyond that and get my Masters of Fine Art to become a college professor. I have always loved teaching and teaching has been a part of every job I’ve ever had - whether it was training employees or teaching customers about the processes of where I worked, there was always a teaching element.


I got a job as a teacher with a non-profit organization that held art classes after school for elementary-aged kids after art had been removed from the Los Angeles County school system. It was an amazing job. I loved teaching the tiny tots. The kids were absolutely adorable and their creativity inspired me. Meanwhile, I had spent the last handful of years helping to put on events for a non-profit and later would become the president of the non-profit and the event producer with a team of amazing people working alongside me.


I loved putting on events so much that I started an event production company with my close friend, Debi Varvi (also an artist). We hosted an annual artist retreat for henna artists. It was incredibly rewarding. We got to combine our love of teaching with our love of events. The retreats were epic with days filled with classes and evenings filled with themed events and late nights (after the events) spent in the communal space – everyone chatting and practicing their henna skills on each other. I thought that I would do events forever at that point. But Southern California was getting too hot and too crowded and my hubby and I longed for a cooler, coastal climate. Once we set our sites on Oregon, it was full-steam ahead to find a place, sell our place, and get out of dodge.


Moving to Oregon gave me a whole new perspective on life. Things move slowly here and communities are tiny. I went from living in fast-paced suburbia with traffic and congestion and 300,000+ people to living in a tiny town made up of 1,500 people. I became surrounded by nature and trees and water and all I wanted to do was enjoy it. At first, I looked for venues here where I might continue the artist retreat. Over time, I couldn’t imagine keeping up with that fast-paced lifestyle of event production, although it will always hold a place in my heart. I went back to marketing and graphic design and I also started my blog and then my online boutique. I have loved being able to work from home, with a view of the lake out of my window. I’ve made so many amazing friends here. Life is pretty wonderful.


Coming up on my 50th year on the planet, I’ve started to think about whether this is it. It’s a fabulous place to be, with creative and interesting work, and amazing friends. It’s a rather successful life.


Photoshoot of Blume Bauer - AI Artist, illustrator, and coach -  covered in pink, blue, and periwinkle flowers and butterflies


Enter Artificial Intelligence. Like Photoshop did all of those years ago, it has opened my eyes and my world to new possibilities. It can enhance my current work and make mundane tasks quicker and more efficient. I’ve got big plans, sweet friends, and they are going to involve my love of teaching but this time for adults, specifically for traditional artists. I want to be part of the tide that rises all boats. I want to lift up my fellow artists with me and have them ride the wave of technology.


I’ve been asked for years how to create a passive income by my fellow artists. How to have t-shirts made with their art, which printers are the best, how much to order, how many of each size, and so many more questions. I’ve had them ask how to build their website and their brand. I’ve hosted an FB group and written blogs but nothing ever felt like the actual thing that artists needed. I’m working hard to build that resource now and I can’t wait to share it with all of you. And my dream - once again - is to be a teacher. And I think my childhood self would slowly nod her head yes with approval because she knew (and I knew) in our souls that we always wanted to be a teacher.


More soon, sweet friends!


hugs and kisses from Blume

2 Comments


Mo Jo
Mo Jo
May 28

I. Simply. Love. All. Of. This. You are amazing & inspiring & i’m genuinely joyous to see what comes next. 🩵

Joanie

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Joanie, you are the best!! Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean so much to me. 💗

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Illustration by Blume Bauer ©

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