Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Working at art, or trying to anyways

It will come as no surprise that many artists, myself included, are struggling right now. Along with everyone else in this economic downturn artists are experiencing a, well shall we say, a bit of financial slowdown?

All right, lets just say that for all intents and purposes, a dead stop!

So what is any self-respecting artist who enjoys eating to do? Get a job. As a working, practicing artist, this is daunting, but necessary. But even in bad economic times, Temp work is usually there.

So for the next 6 weeks, I will be rising early (Ugh!) and heading out to bring home some bacon! Not being a morning person, this is painful for me.

But it does have it compensations. I get to enjoy the early morning light, something I usually only do if I have been up all night painting. (not an entirely unheard of.) I also get to enjoy the daily warming of the earth and the sparkle of morning dew. I am not sure that is not overrated.

I am enjoying that brisk cup of hot coffee, though, with the morning chill. And getting up early is good for me, or so other assure me.

It does, however, limit the time to be creative. I am still teaching my classes and mentoring my students, and working with the co-op. but there is little time for my own art. So for a while I am back to where I was when I had an active career. Stealing a hour here and there for drawing, or writing, but more than anything fighting the desire to simply crawl into bed.

Working can leach the creativity out of you. It leaves me feeling dull and less than human. Creative works make me feel alive and real, even after hours in the studio. While I immerge tired and drained, I find real satisfaction in what I am doing and who I am.

I will endure the job. Using my abilities to earn income frees me to be creative most of the time. I can paint what I want, draw what I want, and be creative to my satisfaction, not just to a patron. I feel less pressure to be commercial in my art. That is compensation for spending time in the “real world” earning that paycheck.

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