“Life begins at 40.” “50 is the new 30.” There are more opportunities for mature adults these days than ever before, and the fine, practical, and performing arts are most definitely well represented here. Plenty of artists didn’t get started until well into middle age. Grandma Moses did not pick up a paintbrush until she was in her 70s. Claude Monet was not a serious artist until he was widowed in his 40s. Georgia O’Keefe did some of her best work in her senior years. Illustrator Lisa Congdon launched her career in her 40s and has written about other later-in-life women artists in A Glorious Freedom.
Be Proud to Be a Beginner
One of the privileges that comes with age is the ability to control one’s own destiny, and that can very well include starting from scratch in a new vocation or avocation. Being open to new experiences and further education is what keeps people young at heart, so embrace any opportunities that you have to start making art!
The process of learning new ideas and skills is very valuable in itself, and adding a creative outlet to your life will only enrich it. In addition, when you become active in the arts, you’ll meet plenty of people who you may never have encountered in a 9-to-5 office environment. Your artistic journey will take you to new and exciting places in your life.
Capitalize on Life Experience
Art celebrates the world, and the worldliness that comes with age can make your art more profound and meaningful. People who have lived full lives can color their art with those experiences, and that can only enrich what you have to offer.
Having decades of living, laughing, loving, and losing behind you (and in front of you still) will make your art authentic and help you relate to your audiences. Technical skills can be mastered through practice, but there is a depth of knowledge that can only be achieved through a life well lived.