Inspired and inspiring, artist Ward Jean Stroud shares his personal journey 2200 miles from his home in Portland, Oregon to Cheap Joe’s in Boone, North Carolina to teach his Brusho watercolor workshop.
His journey isn’t just one of distance, but a leap of faith and a thirst for new experiences. Ward closed his business of many years, sold nearly all of his belongings, and moved his entire life into a 21-foot RV to travel cross-country making art, making music, and meeting people in a trip that culminated here at Cheap Joe’s.
Ward credits an early experience of humiliating failure as one of his greatest gifts. Now, he’s not afraid to fail and has complete freedom to go for ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ might be at the time. We artists can be obsessed with perfection and easily discouraged by failures. However, we can also recognize the gift of a mistake that might imbue a ho-hum painting with a surprising moment of clarity that pushes us through to the finish. He believes that you don’t have to be born with a gift to be an artist, you just need the tenacity and the passion for it. He points out that everyone who became the best at something fell and wobbled along the way, but they picked themselves up and kept working at it. This is a lesson we all need to be reminded of from time to time.
If you’re in a creative rut, if you’re in a life rut, if you’re thinking about downsizing, if you’re contemplating taking a leap of faith toward the life you really want to be living, you need to watch this video. Share with someone who needs the reassurance to live their best life and follow their dreams. Ward’s trip is exactly the kind of story that inspired our product name, American Journey. We couldn’t ask for a better ambassador for a life full of art and experience!
Music by Ward Jene Stroud