Thank you for your article about Dean Valentine’s art collection (“A Most Personal Gallery,” May 8). As a struggling artist, the article prompted me to reevaluate my path and purpose and validated for me that I am headed in the right direction.
In my late 20s and 30s, my then-husband and I caught the collecting bug. During divorce negotiations, the art collection was the last holdout for both of us. Through the pain and confusion, I found myself exploring my own artistic tendencies, eventually working for a gallery to learn the business of art, then pursuing my own art. I was forced to sell my treasured pieces to finance my dream.
I can see now that I moved from being a collector to being what Julia Cameron, author of “The Artist’s Way,” calls a “shadow artist” and then a full-time artist. Dean’s quote, “you have to love it,” has applied to every phase of my development.
When you are hungry it is easy to lean toward creating a “product” rather than art that is an expression of your soul.