The Angst of the Artist
To have the best chance of succeeding in a new endeavour, particularly in a highly risky and challenging one, you need to fully embrace it. In my case that means switching my mindset from “I want to be a winemaker” to “I am a great winemaker “. But even though we’ve worked hard and sacrificed for almost a decade, I still felt like it’s a dangerous dalliance, a hobby that has gotten away from itself. We have almost invested a great portion of our life savings in our venture, and there is no end in sight. I’ve left corporate life and I am working on the business full time. There’s soil under my nails from the vineyard, I spend my days talking about the wines and planning next year’s barrels, grapes and tanks. In practice, I am a full-time winemaker.
I am a craftsman. I am a farmer. I am an artist. My canvas is the patient magic of growth, fermentation, and aging, harnessing a community of people, climate, microbiology and the earth to grow fruit that uniquely expresses itself in the bottle. The artist must suffer for his work, toiling in obscurity for years. The artist works for neither fame nor wealth nor recognition, but only for the intrinsic desire to express his spirit in the world. The fuse that drives the flower, the vinous vigour that breaks the buds, the muse is a mystical natural force that is the wellspring of all art.
I feel that drive. The desire to grow vines and make wine is an external force providing motivation and energy to get to the next step.
I am all these things, so it mystifies me – why do I sometimes still feel like an imposter?