Thursday, June 7, 2007

Work Horse

Life as an artist is alot like I was taught being a life-guard was in high school... "99% drudgery and 1% adreneline."
The Creativity part is a wonderful rollercoaster ride of adrenaline! I am lucky in my life that I love what I do. I have never had to face the fear of the blank canvas, or a "painter's block" that so many artists talk (incessantly) about. The hardest part of creating for me is simply letting the spirit move me to use the techniques I understand and have at my control. It is also about not comparing myself to others. What I do comes from me. It is mine alone. There will be painters who paint similarly to me, differently from me. They will do landscapes differently. They will prefer a different palette. Brushes instead of fingers. More abstracted. More photographic. I have learned you can't please all the people all the eetime. But I have also learned that I have a good product. I have learned that there is a market for my type of accessible and beautifula nd peaceful landscape art. I have learned that people are willing to pay for it. Painting for me is just about showing up at the canvas and working. That is the easy part. I paint. I put it on my calendar,and show up at the scheduled time. Just like a regualr 9-5 job.
The "drudgery" part though takes a lot more time than the painting.
That is the time I must spend re-doing my spread sheets to keep track of the works I have completed. Where they are? Who owns them? Where they are committed for upcoming shows? There is the time required to update my portfolio regularly and have copies ready for clients to view. Also there is the time that is necessary to update all the files of photos for records, and research.
That is also the time I must spend filling out tons of applications to get into art shows for the privileged of paying to hang my art and hoping someone sees it and purchases it. And the time to submit to the numerous on-line shows that get me the necessary exposure nationally to build a reputation both as a talented artist, and a dependable self-promoter.
Along with that is the time I spend doing monthly e-mails and sending card and letters to keep people up dated about where I am currently showing, and what new works I have available. It's the time to produce post-cards and flyers of my work. It's the time to do press releases and magazine articles. It's the time to make calls to galleries and to retail shops to try and get my foot in the door. It's also for me the time I need to go to other artists show openings to smooze - a necessary evil it seems to make it in the art world, but one I don't do particuarly well. (I've never been good at small talk.)
Its the time it take me to come up with ideas for a new blog as well. After all, like a painter or a performer, one is only as good as the most recent work. One must always be moving ahead with something new. New ideas, new blogs....
There is also the packing up, setting up and taking down to go to retail venues to sell. The hours of waiting around. The time spent being "ON" to "edutaine" the masses.
So as you see, a full time career in ART is actually very little time making art. Yes, I love it. I feel lucky to be able to create things of beatuty. I feel truely lucky and blest to have a business partner who loves and encourages the work and the office time that goes to support the creative time.
But I do wish I had a secretary at times. After all , in-spite of this kind of gruelling work, I painted 347 new works last year alone.
Back to the catalogue
Until next time
Create beauty and fill the world with love