Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day 50, 100 Happy Days: Being a Working Artist

I had to cut an orange peel to see what it felt like. And to make a face.
Making a living as an artist - or even making an attempt at it - is a strange endeavor. We put ourselves out there, we bare our souls. We spin plates, wear many hats and often burn the candle at both ends in order to pay the bills.

Making a living as an artist is a lesson in asking and receiving. Asking for sales, for support, to be accepted into shows. It can mean asking for donations, asking for volunteers, asking for help.

And it means receiving. Graciously. Receiving money for one's art, receiving gifts of space heaters and art supplies and wall paint and yes, money. In The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer calls this "taking the donuts". It's not always an easy thing, but I'm learning. To ask and to receive.

Making a living as an artist makes me happy. The goal, of course is to make a great living at just selling my paintings. But for now I'll settle for selling my paintings, teaching out of my studio, renting my wall space, pet-sitting, and whatever other odd jobs come my way. There's no sick leave or paid vacations, and I work most evenings and weekends. And I love it.

Here are some of the things that made me happy today...

Beautiful sunny January day, walking the dog. (Why are those leaves hanging on in January, anyway?

New space heater! A gift from a good friend. This will change things up for me.

I'm so thankful for the cash that just appears now and then in the donation jar. A five-spot appeared in there today.

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