Tag Archives: day job

Searching for the Opportunity

These days I am searching for the right opportunity, the next step in my career as an artist, a move up the ladder to not just creating art on the side while trying to make a living doing something else, but finding a way to combine the two: art and work. Work and life.

The challenge is, it’s easier said than done. I am seeking out the opportunities, and I have a list of things I’m working on applying for. But the prospect of whether any of these opportunities will follow through is still up in the air. When will I get that one BIG SHOT? Or the many smaller shots that eventually lead to something bigger? And if I do get to that bigger place…. what does it look like? What exactly am I striving for, anyway?

When it comes down to it, to the bare essentials, there are four things that I need to make a living as an artist:

CREATIVITY
Print

SPACE
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TIME
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MONEY
Money1

It’s really not a lot to ask. And of course there are more things than just the items listed above, such as friends, family, my sweet dog, a nearby park to run in, some space to do yoga, a fun place to go and see art/music/performance/film, inspiring collaborators, community, students who are eager to learn, and last but not least, OPPORTUNITIES. MORE OPPORTUNITIES. There are so many of them out there, but there are also so many people trying to get them. I’m trying so hard to get that next opportunity. The next thing, whatever it may be, that will lead me closer to my career path as an artist.

Image Sources:
Why Its OK to Fail at Kickstarter
Design Thinking: creativity in business and education
Temp Art Exhibit
There is Always Enough Time

Why Going Home Makes Me Wonder What the Hell I’m Doing With My Life

childhood-flashback-110

Going home for the holidays is always wonderful. I love seeing my family, lying around the house, eating Mom’s delicious food, enjoying the California sunshine and cuddling with the dogs. I also like passing by all the familiar places of my childhood: elementary school, the corner store, downtown, my first job, the old movie theater, etc. etc. These places bring back memories and remind me of what I am made of.

However, despite all the good things, going home can be challenging too. Back in my original element, I remember my original dreams and aspirations. I think about where I am currently, and start to feel depressed. Am I doing the right thing? Why haven’t a made it to the top yet? Why aren’t I living in a place with more opportunities? Why am I working a full-time job instead of pursuing my career as an artist? Why why why??

These questions started when as a family we watched the Kennedy Center Awards last night. Dustin Hoffman, Led Zeppelin, David Letterman… all these people whose careers reached the point of ultimate success. Who blazed through all the challenges and carved out their own unique niche in the world. I try to imagine what it would feel like to be honored in that way. Could I just give up at that point and be able to spend a week in my hometown without questioning whether I’ve made the right decisions in my life? Could I let myself off the hook once and for all and be happy with the path that I’ve taken? Don’t get me wrong- I am in many ways satisfied with what I’ve done and where I’ve been up until this point. However, I also feel there’s more to do, and more to overcome in order to reach my goals.

As a New Year’s resolution, I’m split. My goals in many ways are contradictory: follow my dream, and yet still manage to enjoy life along the way. Easier said than done, but no matter what I’m determined to be a successful artist and still have a life than is relaxing and enjoyable. The big question is….

Is that possible?????

Image Sources:
http://theberry.com/2010/06/02/back-in-the-day-20-photos/

The Art of Office Humor

Now that I have a day job (and less time to update this wonderful blog), I thought I’d devote a blog post specifically to the art of good office humor.

Office Linebacker:

You and Office Safety:

That’s all for now. Time for bed!! Gotta work tomorrow morning.

Image Links:

One Day at a Time

Good Jokes

HOW TO FAIL AS AN ARTIST.

Hello friends!! I’m back at last. Life has had its ups and downs recently, as it always does. Since my last post, I finished my graduate thesis show, graduated from grad school with an MFA in Studio Art, and started working full-time at the university. It’s been a whirlwind, to say the least.

I know that I said I’d post a whole big thing about my graduate thesis show, but I’m lazy now. I’m sorry. I did, however, post it all on the film’s website: www.redblobmassacre.com. Check out the Premiere Photos to see images from the event. It was AMAZING!!! It was worth the hard work. I’ll be doing it again in October, 2012 at River Gallery Fine Art in Chelsea, MI: http://www.chelsearivergallery.com/ . A completely different venue than the premiere, but an equally awesome challenge and opportunity!!

Now. The real reason for this post. Duh duh duhhhh…..

HOW TO FAIL AS AN ARTIST.

Now that I’ve graduated from grad school with the masterfully revered MASTERS OF FINE ARTS, the big question is… will I ever make a LIVING as an ARTIST????!!!

Most MFA graduates go on to sustain themselves as Professors, or in other jobs that may or may not be creative in some way. Few of them go on to be the art millionaires whose successes equal those of Damien Hurst and Marina Abromovic. Many who do, are blessed with family funds that sustain their practice and free them from the constraints of having to have another job to survive until they make it big.

As I face the hump of 40 hours a week in my current future, there are obstacles that will keep me from being the free artist that most people envision successful artists to be. But then again, without a job, I wouldn’t have an income to purchase the supplies I need, to sustain my mental wellbeing of health and relative security that may in the long run contribute to my practice as an artist.

My fear, of course, is that from this point on, my career as an artist will FAIL. I will NEVER be an artist again. Goodbye art school, goodbye art practice. Goodbye time. Goodbye inspiration…

In ode to my own fears, I have created a list of ways that I probably could FAIL as an ARTIST. Here they are:

1) Give up before you start again.

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2) Never have the time:

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3) Doubt your ability to make art:

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4) Have too many bills to pay:

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5) Allow your JOB to take over your LIFE:

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6) Run out of IDEAS:

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7) Run out of opportunities:

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8) Have 10 kids:

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9) Decide/realize that art is pointless:

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Phew! I feel better now. When I look back at the list, I admit that there are probably many more ways to FAIL as an artist. But I also see the list and think… well, that’s pretty stupid. I mean, it’s stupid to even fear those things. Because yes, all of them are threats to continuing a life as an artist. But they are also all things that are universal, not shared just by artists, but by everyone who exists each day as a whole. I think it’s okay to experience all of those things at some point in time (although I’m not sure about having 10 kids), but as long as it’s not an ALL THE TIME kind of thing, it should be okay. If the artist suffers just as the rest of the world does, it’s probably better than living in the privileged artist bubble that is completely removed and oblivious to the real world.

I will work my job, and I will enjoy it. I will continue to make art, and enjoy that too. I will have my ups and downs, but I will keep on making. I don’t know what I will make, but that’s okay. It’s good not to know. Perhaps it will be something incredible.

And lastly, I’d just like to say that sometimes FAILURE is not so bad. Failing at something, as long as you try again, is sometimes better than being successful right from the beginning.

Image Sources:

http://charleneburke.com/2011/10/ready-to-give-up-50-things-you-should-give-up-starting-today/ (Ready to Give Up- 50 Things you should give up starting today)

http://thewordthoughtsblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/time.html (Time)

http://katerawlings.com/2012/01/11/self-doubt-youre-not-alone/ (Self Doubt? You’re not alone)

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Bills.gif (Bills)

http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/t/time_slave.asp (Time Slave Cartoon)

http://laurencehunt.blogspot.com/2011/04/its-duh-kind-of-day-in-gold-stocks.html (It’s a duh kind of day in gold stocks)

http://www.extracriticum.com/extra_criticum/2012/01/accentuate-the-positive.html (Cartoon: Accentuate the Positive)

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3749964/Mum-on-30k-a-year-in-benefits-seeks-charity-aid.html (10 kids with 4 different men)

http://www.destructoid.com/about-the-art-debate-please-shut-the-f-k-up-226826.phtml (About the ‘art’ debate: Please shut the f**k up)

http://www.destructoid.com/about-the-art-debate-please-shut-the-f-k-up-226826.phtml (Smile Saturday)