Thursday, January 22, 2009


Exploding Doughnut?

No, it's not a sparking firecracker ready to go off in a Krispy Kreme. It refers to a series of spreadsheet charts used in Microsoft Excel. Who knew it would become a wake-up call for me?

Drawing and painting. Pretty much my life. After graduating from college I was officially an Artist....or so I thought. I wasn't sure what to do next and before you knew it I fell away from art. That's when the dead-end jobs started. You need money, right?

Time passed. Non-creative jobs came and went, one after the other. I found myself slowly dying from the inside out.

You give and give, do extra work, and volunteer at places you don't want to be at only to try advancing up at positions you don't even want. Stuck, trapped, and drowning.

November 12, 2008. There I was in an Intermediate Excel class hoping the extra skill would pump up my resume. Four hours into that class, being bored as hell, the instructor showed everyone how to modify pie and doughnut charts by "exploding" them.

Damn, I thought, I'd rather be painting right now.

So Exploding Doughnut represents just that. Working 9 to 5 jobs that aren't in your field of interest but that you keep because your passion doesn't pay the bills. Losing yourself, your desire, and trying to get it all back along the way.

Reclaiming your dreams and becoming who you were truly born to be.

Welcome to my journey.....

--Dean Grey


Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

I can identify with the sucky-job experience! I had a miracle in my life push me into my dreams and I hope you get one, too. Just keep going, and make local connections that will get your work out there. Good luck!

Dean Grey said...


Thanks for visiting my blog and for all the nice comments!

I'm glad you got your miracle and am always on the lookout for mine.

Your advice is appreciated and I'll definitely keep going!

Thanks again!


r garriott said...

I love your exploding donut post! so true, so funny! Yesterday I made a pie chart of my studio time (there's some kind of weird connection here!) which I'll post later today.

Dean Grey said...

R. Garriott!


Thanks for reading my very first post though!


Anonymous said...

Dean, this is something that touches most of us at some pont in our lives i guess. i exploded too and now paint and every now and then think i should do my day job, but something drags me back to the easel and i paint til i drop, great isn't it? and thanks for visiting my blog. your comments mena a lot. you are honest and give good critique though you were too kind in your comments about my paintings. r.

Dean Grey said...


You're right. I think a lot of people can relate to working a crummy day job when they'd rather be doing something they have a real passion for.

I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog.

Thanks for visiting mine!


Anonymous said...

you've got a cool blog and i'm glad i found it through guyfromchicago. i'm looking forward to visiting chicago next week.

Dean Grey said...

Welcome to my blog, dailybriefing!

Glad to hear you're visiting the Windy City!

Enjoy yourself!!


Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Oh, this resonates with me! When you are an artist it just pulses to come out and of course, we aren't cut out for the 9-5 world, either. If you don't do you art you get depressed and then it's a vicious circle.
So there actually are ....exploding donuts. Funny!
Just keep doing your art, Dean and come and visit me again soon.

Dean Grey said...


You got it!

Thanks for the kind words!!


Anonymous said...

I´m faving your blog. you´re an authentic person and a great artist. best of luck !

Dean Grey said...


That's so nice of you to say!

I'm faving your screen name!


J@v@JuNKo said...

I've been going through your time capsule of blog posts, what a great beginning and meaning behind your blog Title!! We've all had our "exploding doughnuts" moments in life i think.

Dean Grey said...


First off, I appreciate you looking through my older posts!

Yep, "Exploding Doughnut" was much more than a funny phrase to me.

The meaning has changed a bit since I was laid off and lost that dead-end job but the journey to reclaim my artistic dreams remains intact!

Thanks to you, my friend!


eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Excellent first post! I think so many people experience this. I know I did.

I got two degrees in fields I was moderately interested in, when I really wanted to be an artist... Well after 10 years of going the wrong direction, I listened to myself and made a change.

Good for you about realizing this and speaking out! Liz

Dean Grey said...


It's comforting to know I'm not alone on this way of thinking!


Bitche said...

Hey Dean!

Love your blog! Love the way you write. I am, in a way, can relate to this. I am enjoying your blog in every post I read. Good luck!

And btw, thanks for commenting on my blog. You're the first to comment there. :)


Dean Grey said...


I'm glad you stopped by my blog!

Welcome to The Doughnut Gang, Ritche!



Daniel said...

This has happened to the best of us creative peeps, and bravo for choosing your artistic dream above it all! It takes MAJOR courage to pursue your passion as an artist, and I truly believe we are quite under-appreciated these days for our determination.

Two good books I recommend to you on your journey, (although their are far TOO many,) "The Artist's Way At Work," by Julia Cameron and "Leonardo's Ink Bottle - The Artist's Way of Seeing," by Roberta Weir. Ok, one more...(ha, ha) - "Art & Fear," by David Bayles & Ted Orlando.

Go forth - read, and keep on doing what you love. :)


Dean Grey said...


Thanks for the encouraging words and the book recommendations, Daniel!


cjoy017 said...

I wish I had found your blog sooner, but I'm sure it'll be fun catching up on your writings...looking forward to it.


Dean Grey said...


I'm looking forward to hearing what you think when you're all caught up!


KR said...

Hey Dean

Love this first post - what a goodie.

Hope you're finding yourself on the road to freedom now :)

I really like your blog, the honestly is refreshing and the art fantastic :)

Dean Grey said...


The kind words are greatly appreciated!


Misha Taylor said...

Wow, I'm glad I read your first post, I feel the same way. For me it's writing. After I graduate I just worked and put writing aside. I'm glad you created this blog to show your artwork!

Dean Grey said...


I'm glad you found me and my blog!