You may have noticed that I’ve been away for a while. Over a span of many years, a volcanic build up inside of me was getting out of control, and towards the end of 2016 I reached a breaking point. Having spent almost six years blogging from a place that was slowly destroying me, I got to the cliff’s edge and had to make a survival decision:
Take a very scary leap … or give up and go home.
Now, I’m still la grenobloise and still live in Grenoble, but I also have a pied-à-terre elsewhere. After years of limitations in a small city, going broke and being extremely socially frustrated, I had to find a place where I had at least some decent opportunities professionally, as well as access to an open-minded art community.
So I set on to find a second art studio, in Paris. The French land of opportunity.
The novelty of being a big fish in a small pond wears off quite fast when you can barely feed yourself.
Moving alone in a foreign country to a new city with very little money? Easier said than done…and boy it has been a wild ride. I have had various jobs since January and have hunted for studios all over Paris while also living in Grenoble while also couch surfing and apartment hopping in Paris. I lived in the 20th. I lived in the banlieu. I lived in the 17th and the 18th. And I almost had to give up due to too many costly failures. I’ve visited all of Paris’s districts and at least half of its outlying périph’ cities. I’ve visited over a dozen potential studio spaces and have emailed and called over a hundred people. I’ve went on many interviews and have submitted a plethora of applications. I’ve drunk sparkling water from a friggin’ public water fountain.
And I had a lot of amazing experiences, overcame some extreme challenges and have met a lot of cool people along the way.
Since my last blog post, every ounce of my energy had to be put to basic survival and getting my new life in order. I promised myself to not re-start the blog until I got an art studio and started painting in my new, 2nd location under the Paris sky.
It is thanks to my art patrons, my collectors and to those that have given me opportunities to exhibit my paintings that I am now out of a state of despair and isolation. To them I am forever grateful. My painting sales enabled me to take the leap of faith out of the dead end that was my life lived solely in Grenoble. I still need their help and have started a Patreon page, to which I won’t link here. But, if you’re interested in supporting an emerging artist who is working hard to make cool stuff, shoot me an email at paradisalpin(at)gmail(dot)com or send me a Facebook message.
You may have noticed, especially if you’re one of my French readers, that I am posting uniquely in English. My new life, and the extra hustle that comes with it, means that I have less time to spare. I’ve decided that posting in my native language is the best way to go. Blogging often in English is better than blogging every 5 months bilingually. It also means that I can create more personable content, as blogging in both languages froze me up a bit expression-wise.
Over the six-year span of this blog, I’ve always had this one quote in my About Me section:
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain
This speaks to my decision to move from New York City to Grenoble, France back in 2011. My first leap of faith as an adult. It also speaks to my new journey between two cities, with an entirely new part of the continent to explore. Thanks to my new expansion, I’ve already been to the north of France as well as Amsterdam for the first time, and I am excited to share these journeys with you.
All photos taken by me, last week, in Grenoble. 🙂