Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Art Blog: True FREEDOM

Did you ever watch the news stories about the “LOTTO winners”? As they stand with huge smiles on their faces while holding the oversize check for their millions, envy drools out of every pore of my body. I wish them well, but I am always jealous. I really am. The same feeling comes when I see a story about an artist who is doing this big exhibition or is on the cover of that magazine. Some of them have money and it is not from selling art. They were rich or had money connections before any of this. In fact those links helped to make their art life the reality it is at that moment.

Before this starts sounding like sour grapes, I request you read on. I have more to say. This post isn’t really about money at all. It is about freedom. As I divide my time between money job and art job, I feel frustrated. Currently, I love my money job. This is great thing. It could be far worse. I know. However, I work and work and work all day doing the things that need to be done for all the others and wish with a huge heart I could be doing what I really want to do FIRST. That isn’t possible. I have to keep plugging away doing what I do to make a buck to support my art life.

It would be easy to say: “Why don’t you just sell your art and be a full time artist?” Well…………..let me ask you this question. How many homes have you been in lately that have their walls filled with original art? How many? This is a rhetorical question. I already know. I know for sure the answer doesn’t reflect the amount of money that equals my day job unless I started a flamingo painting assembly line studio. This is why I get anxious sometimes.

Back a long time ago in 1988, I was a resident at Vermont Studio Center. I was there for one month. It was January and snowing like hell. I hate snow and cold, but this was worth it. I didn’t have any money back then. However, during those four, short weeks, I had no bills. I had no extra, day job. I had food. I had shelter. I had art supplies. The only thing required was I was supposed to make art. That was it. Boy did I ever make art!!! I think that was probably one of the best and most productive months of my life. Being creative and making art was my primary job for those four weeks. I took it so seriously and it worked. Not only did I feel the satisfaction of art production, but for the first and only time in my life, I felt pure FREEDOM.

I long for that feeling again.


Virtue Fern said...

Hi Sheree,
I'm sitting at my day job desk reading your blog, I've got a group show starting Friday and in between my day duties i'm organising stuff for this show. Having two jobs is really tiring. Yet, I recently gave up my day job for 4 months to paint and draw and I ended up doing less art than when I was working. I got lost in procrastination. I think I need the pressure of two jobs to remain creatively productive.
Anyway, Hope you find a solution to the cash flow, art 's such a hard business to be in...
Cheers Virtue

Chad Wooters said...

Thank you for that heartfelt post. Most artist can identify. I have made peace with the idea that I will only ever be a part-time artist...although there is always hope. I wrote about this on my own website under the link Part-Time Artist.

I felt the same sense of freedom when I got the my self-published books from the the printer. I was ready to write my next book and perhaps even start my own publishing house to print books for other artists. For the first time since I was young, it felt like I had so many new posibilities for the future. That lasted about a week.

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

I heeeaaat you my Friend!

Would it not be grand to just be full time artists??
I often tell Sergio =-let's just sell everything and move into a little hut in mexico and sell art to tourists!
Really... I may. someday.

Meanwhile.... I was horrified to see a local company set up in the hallways of the ART (!) school where I teach selling...POSTERS *ugh*

Funny thing: I got my MFA in Vermont...*ugh* the cold..but ahhh the freedom!!!
It is when i realized that contacts can freeze and simply fall out of your eyes...


Sheree Rensel said...

I agree with you and understand what you are saying completely!! I too get more done when I am in a frenzy and overbooked. Sometimes, I wish the frantic nature of my life would just stop. It would be nice to feel what it would be like to just have ART as my job. It is a moot point. I will always have to work to support my art, but it is nice to dream.
Thank you so much for your comment!!

Sheree Rensel said...

I hated Vermont, but I loved the time there. It was so cold my boogers froze! LOL LOL
I am so glad I had that experience. Your "hut" dream is familiar. I have a reoccurring dream of selling everything and living in a "RV" studio. I could just travel around from trailer court to campground and paint pictures of trees or lakes or frogs or something..............
Maybe I will do this when I am older. I don't know. I think the pressure of life is getting to me. We will see.........Stay tuned.

Sheree Rensel said...

Thank you so much for commenting here. I agree that MOST artists have felt this way at some time or another. This is my specialty. I write about things for which most artists can relate in some way.
I noticed you mentioned "part time". I don't see it this way. I work my day job "full time" and I work my art job "full time". How can this be? It is just another way of thinking about my life. I am trying to be all things all the time. Maybe that is why I feel frazzled. LOL LOL