Random, Awkward and AWESOME with Artist Resident Norola Morgan

Norola Morgan is a mixed-media artist, performer, and teaching artist living in Houston, Texas. This is her first installment in a 4-part series as Artist Strong’s Artist in Residence. You can enjoy more of her art and random musings over on Instagram: @studio.moonyoonits. She is excited to be re-opening her online shop on July 5, 2023, which is also her birthday! Visit Home | MoonYoonits Studios (square.site) to get your fix of handcrafted wit, whimsy and weirdness!

On November 1, 2022, I made a choice. I chose to walk away from a full-time job of 17 years to focus on art and family. I said YES to cultivating a more creative, fulfilling, and purposeful life. Did I feel like a fool? Oh, yes. Not so much like an idiot, though there were times I felt like I had made a HUGE mistake. Mostly, I connected strongly with the archetype of the Fool from the tarot. Someone claiming their freedom and stepping out on faith. After years of putting tremendous effort, energy and creativity into working and creating for others, I decided to take a chance on me. What would it be like if a Sista did it for herself? Time to reinvent!

Meet Norola Morgan, Working Artist.

I’ve never had trouble believing in myself as an artist. Creativity came naturally to me from a very young age. All my life, my talent has been noticed and put to use for individuals and institutions.

But, once I stepped away from the institution that offered a steady paycheck and health insurance, I had to figure out a lot of things. Like how best to manage my time after years of having my days scheduled for me. Where and how to access quality free or low-cost healthcare resources. And how to support my creativity so that it could support me and my family. And that has been my challenge, believing that I could actually make a living with my art.

So now, I am on the journey of defining for myself what it means to be a working artist. And not just being an artist who works, but with a career and business that is successful and prosperous, with time for rest and learning built in. Taking action on my ideas is important, as is daily productivity. Struggles with worthiness, mild anxiety, and ADHD sometimes make things spicy.

The ADHD can sometimes make it hard to focus, but I’m learning to work with my rhythms and energy/attention cycles to get things done. Aaaaaand, I am absolutely sure that it contributes to my creativity by allowing me to think outside the box and make connections between things that don’t normally go together. Touches of randomness and chaos are essential to my process, fueling curiosity and a restless creativity, while having a stable foundation to build on and a firm but flexible framework to work and play within help me to sustain my artistry.

I’m looking forward to having the next week to marinate the next blog post. I know that at some point I will:

  • touch on my inspirations and how an artist with a BFA in painting came to work in the 3rd dimension with fabric, found objects and paper
  • share my art and creative process
  • talk about what it’s like to live, work, and create with ADHD
  • the challenges of working from home
  • and how, to my surprise, I discovered that I actually enjoy being a teaching artist.

I appreciate y’all tuning in! See y’all next week!