Friday, December 18, 2009

Meditations on Work...

shadow of myself in front of work in progress

Here is a journal entry from the past. Probably written about 2 or more years ago. I remember I took my composition book and favorite pen to the coffee shop and gave myself different topics and allowed 15minutes for a written purge on each subject. This one was on work. A subject that has always confused and troubled me.

WORK- it is what you are supposed to do. You go somewhere away from your home and you do something for 4-8 hours a day and you get paid every 2-4 weeks. Payday is good. Sometimes you don't always like it and sometimes you work with people you don't like. You go to meetings and trainings and you do the best job you can while you are there or at least in the beginning. Eventually, you relax a little and allow yourself to take some short cuts. Some days it is hard to sit still at the job and the idea of going to your job may even bring tears to your eyes and when you are in that workspace you can feel the walls closing in on you and you are like a fish out of water. The Clash lyric floats into your head "Who gives you work, why should you do it..." You think of all the skills you have that you aren't using because you never choose a job that would really challenge you. You think there must be a better way.

Then perhaps you think about your art. You can paint and you know it, but can it be work, can it pay the rent? Are you disciplined enough? A lot of pressure will be added to the process of creating if you are going to try and make money at this. Can you be sure that as an "artist" you are not just another unemployed person hiding from the world that makes you so uncomfortable?

Who do you think you are?


  1. Hang in there :] You are not alone in this matter...there will always be a bit of doubt,confusion or insecurities as an Artist.I believe you are on the path that fills your soul maybe or not always your pockets,but at the end I'm sure you will be a much more happier & healthier person inside & out....and when you are sincere in what you decide to do with your Artwork sooner or later it will show;people will notice and with time you will become a much greater & richer person.Money will always come and go. And yes,if you wantt to live of your Art, you have to work,work,work & find a way to balance reality with creativity...but to your rythem.It can all depends on your expectations and where you want to go with your Art and what you would like it to be for your future.
    Unless of course you were born with money or a big inheritance...that's another story :]

  2. Food for thought indeed.
    I'm currently wondering why I think I can make money out of this, but as I am constantly reminded, I've chosen this and I can make it work. Money wasn't the first attraction. Being an artist is what I was born to a musician and painter. Having been in a profession before this, a job that suppressed my spirit, I know that I am not avoiding that job, but creating a life that is worth living.
    I am more alive than I have ever been, even though I'm poorer than I've ever been.
    Its a worthy sacrifice!

    "Really?" I ask.
    "Well, here and there...."

  3. I saw a movie awile ago I can't remember what the title was and I don't exactly remember what was said but this is what I took away from it. The lead singer of Fugazi said that they didn't measure their finacial success how the "world" measured success they dedcided for themselves what their success was. It really hit home, trusting myself is such a huge process.

    Just this last month I was trying out different ideas for promoting and I hit a big low in my self esteem as far as my art goes. All that not good enough, not doing enough, not selling enough, blah blah blah....... I broke it off with Twitter, I knew I wouldn't like it but I gave it a try anyways. Anyways the last month, really put a damper on my creativty and spirit. I know one thing for sure any art that I love by another artist seems to come from their heart's and I tend to feel lost, out of touch and terrible with my own art and selling of my own art if I navigate from any place other than my own heart. Sounds kinda cheesy but agian that whole, huge, process trusting myself and trusting my art.

    Thats where I'm kinda at and I am trying find ways to look at my art as a business that don't make me feel like I'm compromising my art or make me feel not good enough, those feelings never make good art and we always have choices. And I think have some choices/changes I think I need to make in this next year....

  4. Hi Megan, well said!

    As you know, i am also a full-time artist as well. I love that this is my path, taking in the good with the bad, i feel the good wins everytime.

    What i've learned is that for me, actions speak louder than my words. It's the "Doing" that creates a stir...I am constantly learning, researching, looking, listening, reading, writing, reflecting, dreaming and of course: Creating!

    My down fall is idle time or wasting time doing things that don't amount to much when it boils down to what i need to grow and express- i have cut back on those things all around and I am changing/ flourishing as a result!

    Thank you for posting on your blog each week, by "Doing" that you are making things happen, sharing and learning... we all appreciate it more than you know.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

  5. This is sort of depressing to me... I cannot imagine being able to afford my roof, healthcare, and retirement without my dayjob which I respect, but detest. I wish the only option would not appear to be that I need to move away from the place I love so dearly to reduce the cost of living... I moved all my life. I want to stay still, and know I'd be unhappy living anywhere else.