Happy National Sibling’s Day!
You’re probably like - What?
Well, yes, I had to go look it up myself, but hey, it’s on the calendar and I’m going to feature my brother, Jason and I, here. Growing up, we were always at odds with each other. Like cats and dogs fighting. I’m sure our mother has many stories to tell. Jason, being the middle child, was always stuck between me, the oldest and stuck up, and the treasured youngest, Ryan. I say this looking back, childhood probably wasn’t the easiest being the middle kid. Jason was the first to pick up a camera back in high school when I was more into fine art painting and exploring different mediums. I thought I was going to grow up and be an architect, Jason, I’m not so sure he knew what he wanted to do. We both explored the military as a way to bridge the gap of - “what do we want to do when we grow up?” I stayed in longer than he, but we both have our experiences that have defined us as we’ve gotten older. As we evolved over time, we actually turned out a lot alike. I think we bonded over our military experience as veterans normally do, but then it just evolved from there. We’re artsy and creative and we like tinkering with cameras. But it wasn’t always like that and I honestly have to thank Jason for inspiring me to pick up a camera in the first place.
But look at us now. Two artists - both pursuing our goals and dreams one image at a time. Jason is so inspiring to me and if you asked me as a teenager if I thought my sibling was “inspiring” I probably would’ve laughed and named off some random celebrity. But the truth is, inspiration is happening every day with Jason and I’m so proud of him - not just because where he came from, but because where he’s going in the future.
Jason joined the military after I did. I was actually overseas in a combat zone when I learned from our mother that Jason finally went to Air Force basic training and graduated from Lackland AFB boot camp. When I returned from Iraq and a couple of months down the road, Jason was up in Alaska and making his first permanent change of station to Nellis AFB outside of Las Vegas, NV. On top of it all, he was then heading to Afghanistan, a place I had never been at that time. I was able to meet up with and share some insight with him because he was my little brother heading off into a combat zone.
Fast forward a few years, Jason decided to get out of the Air Force and remained in Hawaii when I finally got my turn to transfer duty stations. Both of us ended up on the island of Oahu and that’s when I really started picking up a camera and traveling around finding sunsets and sunrises of epic proportions. Jason and I connected over landscape photography and honest, I drew in my interest from him. I would later branch off into photographing women and people, but I think my love of photography really started with Jason’s landscape work.
I always thought Jason was crazy for getting out of the Air Force and wanting to be his own boss. I guess I never really thought to myself what it would like to be an entrepreneur as I still was continuing on my military service as an Army officer. Anything outside of that became kind of crazy talk and I never really thought of it like, “Oh, that’s a possibility.” But Jason did.
I remember the earliest times of him setting up a booth at a trade show selling small prints of his work to now selling huge fine art wall prints valued in the thousands. It wasn’t overnight success. He’s not a millionaire today. He’s succeeding by finding clients, doing his research, and closing sales through trial and error. It takes a lot of self study in the art of selling yourself and believing in the value of your creations, and then convincing others to see the same value. That is no easy feat and if you’ve never tried it, you should one day. When I got out of the military in 2016, I tried my hand at it, and I will have to tell you, it is the HARDEST things I’ve ever done. To feel worthy and hold your pride in your work when the world will tell you you’re not good enough or you’re not worth the price tag you ask for, that’s significant courage and bravery to keep on pressing forward.
So today, now we are in our 30s, we’re not getting younger but we are getting wiser. And now, I look at Jason as my inspiration for what I want to do in the future when I finally retire from the military- to be an entrepreneur who knows her worth, demands her value, and lives the life I want to live while providing exceptional service to my clients. In fact, I’m starting that now, but following my brother’s footsteps and learning from him. I never thought I would’ve said that back in my teenage years, but it is true.
If you don’t know, Jason is the creator of The Art of Selling Art - a platform for artists to learn to find their ideal clients, teaching self value, improving the tangibles such as website, social media, etc and giving encouragement to other artists to get out their and earn their living from their art. I encourage you to go to www.jasonmatias.com/TASA to learn more. It’s not just for artists, but for any entrepreneur. You can definitely gain valuable information from listening to Jason and joining in on his Drunk Q&As (which are really funny actually).
So Happy National Sibling’s Day and I hope you can share your stories about your own siblings. Leave me a comment!