"You often meet your fate on the
road you take to avoid it." -- French proverb
I am an artist. Simple sentence.
Complex meaning. Since leaving graduate school in 1994 I have tried a
zillion means of earning money other than the one which sent me to graduate
school in the first place - to make better art to exhibit and sell.
Prior to graduate school I earned 3/4
of my income from making art. I didn't sell it through art fairs, I took
the ego crushing route of selling it through galleries. My
41 year old self is amazed by my previous incarnation as a brazen
networker. I would cold call a 1/2 dozen galleries or more a week.
I followed every exhibition lead big and small. The Energizer bunny wore out
long before I did.
But these days, I don't have the same level of energy despite what my co-workers think at the art center where I currently juggle a full time position with two part-time positions. At 25 I could easily handle the juggle with the addition of time in the studio. I could switch gears in a second and not miss a step. These days I am thankful for just treading water. I come home from work so tired that I am lucky if I can knit an inch before dozing off.
Is it too much to ask to have it all? Can I earn money, see friends on a regular basis and still have time in the studio? My birthday month always becomes a time for reflection, a time to take stock of what is working for me and what is not. Working 40+ hours a week outside of the studio is definitely not working. I must have time to think, sketch, and make. Considering that I already have 3 group shows, a solo exhibition and another round of The Red Thread Project lined up for next year, time in the studio is soon to become critical.
But silly me - for the winter I've lined up 20 contact hours of teaching a week with one of those courses being in art education at a local university. University courses bury one under with paperwork. I will also have another 10-15 hours a week of working at the art center to assist the new director of education with the transition. But alas, I don't mean to gripe. I'm just worried that I am beginning another year in which I focus on the income and not the art.
Balance seems to be the primary theme of this blog. I am flattered that fellow blogger Steph has honored me with the Thinking Blogger Award.
I don't have any of the answers, but if my ramblings help another think out similar issues, that makes the effort worth it. Blogs are funny that way. You put your heart on your sleeve to show to the world and never know what will happen. What makes blogging more rewarding than journaling is the possibility for a dialog. Merci Steph!
A requirement of receiving this award is to pass it along to 5 others who inspire you. Hmmmm. I read lots of blogs and forget to list all that I read. Many don't necessarily inspire, but amuse. Does that count? I guess not. Well, look at my inspiration list and you'll get a hint, but I will narrow it to five -
Karin never ceases to amaze me with the beautiful photos she posts. One particular entry inspired me to keep a regular art date, a day to fill up on all the amazing work happening out there. I also want one day to have a sun filled studio like her own.
Thinking of a space of one's own, the next on my list is Katie. She was actually interviewed about her studio space for a BBC program. The pics she has posted of it are lovely. Are you beginning to get a hint that I don't have a private studio? It is a shared space in the basement. At times I come out of it feeling like a skinny hobbit. But what I especially love about reading Katie's blog is her sense of humor. You will have to dig through her files to find the funny things she did with googly eyes while at work one day. I'm still thinking of how to plaster my own place of work with them.
Helle's blog is an endless source of beauty and wonderment. Even the debris washing up along the shore she turns into a visual feast. And you have to check out her incredible jewelry. It is all crocheted and inspired by sea life. She is also involved in the Crochet Coral Reef Project, so if you love to knit or crochet, her blog is a don't miss.
Kirsty's Diary Project is another don't miss. I love the premise of completing a small work each day. I tried to do the same back in August, but work eventually got in the way. I'd like to start 2008 with a hat a day for The Red Thread Project. Now that would be a fun-filled challenge!
Last one. Well, food is another source of inspiration for me. It's the fuel for the brain and often makes me think of creative possibilities that I would have otherwise not considered. These moments usually arise when staring into a nearly empty fridge. So my last inspiration vote goes out to Lolo of VeganYumYum. She not only came up with the clever "knitted" decorations for cupcakes, but she has the courage of her convictions. She followed her heart into cooking and didn't turn back. When a publisher asked for compromises, she began to search for a new publisher. You don't have to be a vegan to love her recipes, just a foodie.
But really, click on everyone posted in my sidebar. They all inspire me in one way or another.
And Steph, merci pour les bijoux! J'adore votre travail!