Thursday, August 30, 2007

Working the work - Art as life and livelihood

Not Quite Night - Diptych 2 panels each 24 x 9" Oil
I spend a lot of time painting. I also spend a lot of time thinking about painting. I spend a lot of time marketing, and I spend even more time thinking about marketing.
I feel very lucky that I am blessed with a few gifts. Even more that I have been able to develop them in to skills to produce art that people enjoy. I know I probably would have flunked out of art school. Ive been told (a lot recently) that I am too out-spoken and opinionated. I know from experience (ask my BF and business partner) that I to independent and focused to play the game. I at times rub the powers that be, or that think they are, the wrong way. I suppose in part that comes from being a survivor. All my life I have had to depend on myself to provide for me. Going with the flow and just praying for rent or food or clothing or love did not ever seem to work for me.
As an abused child I tried early to hide and not draw attention to myself - being sure that if I didn't get the big bad man's attention then I'd make it through another day alive. All I really achieved by doing that though was to be invisible to the very people who might have been there to help me and teach me. In the end I learned to isolate and to hide and hope that things worked out OK. After a very long and stressful life, I have decided to take the bull by the horns. If I am not proactive for me who will be?
So I really work at selling my art. I paint fast and furiously.
If I had known 40 years ago that I had this gift for painting and drawing... That I would love it so much. That there was a chance of building a successful BUSINESS from it. That I could make a living doing something I love. (Again providing for me since I've not noticed any one standing in line to nurture, provide and care for my needs.) Perhaps then I would not be at the place I am now where I am afraid of the years slipping by before I can be who I was meant to be. Half of a life has gone by, and now I need to make up for lost time.
I am often asked about the fact that I don't really differentiate between fine art and craft, and how that affects my work? I guess I let others decide that for me. I just create what my heart tells me and I learn from the people around me. I market to every possible venue and then I sell it to whomever is interested in owning it... be it a condo building, a crafts gallery, an art collector, a retail chain, my wonderful next door neighbor Amy or the therapist for the hospital center.
My job is to make it. My job is to put it out there where others can find it that are looking for it. My job is to let it go to make more. The next 50 years is not long enough for me to do that job. I guess I don't feel I have time to worry a lot about stepping on other's egos. That is their job.
Til next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love