While some of you might know me from facebook, I'm not sure what that exactly means to you. Do you think that I am a successful artist, raking in a lot of money because everyone seems to know who I am?
I'm just going to let everyone know, that as an artist, I don't make a lot of money. No one is rushing to my etsy shoppe to buy my work, not because it isn't worthy, but because in these times, I suppose, they'd rather make it themselves. Times are tough and many artists are struggling.
And are we artists by choice? Well yes and no. Some of us have chronic illnesses that prevent us working a "real" job. Some of us are caregivers (me) to a severely disabled child. Don't judge us because we are artists.
So if our art isn't being purchased, then we do what comes next and that is to "teach it". So we spend a lot of time developing classes that everyone on fb "wants to take". And trust me, this isn't something that just takes a few days. Developing classes takes thought, time, energy, hours on the computer, making samples, taking photos and then submitting the work. It's very tiring. The last set of classes I proposed was over the holidays and I felt that I didn't really get to enjoy the moment of the holidays because I was so preoccupied by keeping up with these deadlines. Then throw in "real" life like mine, where I am a 1/2 a caregiver for a severely disabled child. If he even gets sick for a moment, I can't do anything until he's better. The stress level can get high.
Then we flash forward to the future where those proposed classes for retreats are now online for regisration , but hardly anyone has signed up for them. There is no one to blame. It is a sign of the times. It's easier to take classes online than to travel. I constantly get messages, " can you do this in an ecourse"? It's a frustrating process for an instructor. Some instructors do quite well with their ecourses. But others say they have the trickle in effect of business. It's a difficult choice to make with my very spare precious time to create art. Continue with retreats, mainly go online? After Tucker's last illness (in Oct), I've had this overwhelming urge to just disappear. Would anyone miss me? Would my art be missed? The pressure to keep up with all the current economical factors facing an artist are overwhelming and I am already overwhelmed as it is.
Just for the record, I'm not raking in the dough. I probably spend more than I make and the hours I spend creating samples for classes, I don't think you couldn't put a dollar sign on it. So what is my point? I'm not sure. Maybe I just want don't want to be so committed to doing my art for the sake of teaching it. I pondered this tonight and I worked on some gifts for some art friends that I will be seeing soon. To me, that is what is gratifying. Creating art for those who I know will just get it and love it and also reciprocate back to me. I've done more than my than fair share of giving my art freely ( for some reason, expected of any artist/donations). I've put in my 1000 hours and I work damn hard. I'm not sure there is much more I can do, but in the end, to decide what makes me happy and shine my art in that direction.
Thanks for listening. As always the direction of an artist is an ongoing journey.