Hello! Thanks for joining me this lovely grey autumnal Friday.
This week has been one of organization and getting things done slowly but surely. I pretty much have my house in order after being away for eight months and that is a very good thing. A sense of normalcy is returning.
I also have been going through my household budget and expenses with a fine toothed comb and trying to make it so I won't wind up in a call centre again this winter. I am calling it "operation dollar from a dime" and so far it is going pretty well. I have reduced my expenses for my mobile phone, my Internet, car insurance, lowered my interest rate on my credit card for the next 6 months and levelized both my gas and electricity bills so I can know what to expect. I am still trying to figure out my health insurance (such a luxury for a self employed worker). I am hoping that thanks to Obamacare it will be even less than what I am paying now, so that would be another welcomed reduction. This week, I also remembered what bargains and good quality foods can be found at ALDI as well, if only they sold tofu and vegan cheeze I wouldn't have to shop anywhere else!
I know this is an art blog and that is what you come here for but as an artist on a budget and someone who is "living the dream," I think it is important to tell the truth about the process and share what is working and what is not.
In more properly art related news, I did manage to get my art supplies out and around and have got my home studio up and running again. It was a good feeling to see all my pencils, pieces of charcoal and tubes of paint, especially after working with such a spare studio set up in Edinburgh and Atlanta.
This week I started seven new small works for the holiday season (there will be more...). It was lovely to see my old atlas again and to pull out some maps from Scotland as well. I got my hello kitty sewing machine out again and it's threaded and ready to roll. I ordered some supplies from DickBlick.com this week and popped by one of my local art supply stores as well for some paint (trying to shop local as much as I can).
On a side note, I did a little exercise earlier today. I call it "gathering the evidence" and this concept has popped up here and there in my blog in the past. Sometimes we get ideas about ourselves or we cling to stories we have told ourselves and others over and over again. Sometimes these stories are no longer true and we just need to let go and get a new script. I found myself in that situation and the story I was clinging to was making me very unhappy. It was obviously time to gather the evidence and prove myself wrong about these mistaken beliefs I was holding on to. I gathered a long list that backed up a new healthier story, read it to myself once and sent it to a trusted friend. It was quite affirming.
To quote Socrates, "The unexamined life is not worth living." I agree and how we use the evidence of our examination can be quite life changing.
This week I will leave you with a couple of things to think about. Are you struggling financially as an artist or longing to quit your day job or trying not pick up a second job to stay afloat? What are you doing to cut your expenses and save money so you can live the dream and thrive?
What stories are you telling yourself over and over again that no longer serve you and only make life harder than it needs to be? You might be able to change your story and change your life...
And that is all I have for you this week. Until next week, keep fighting.
The world needs your art.