There are quite a few things that you have to give up in order to be able to live as an artist. (Hopefully not for long... The title of the Blog after all IS; Making A Living As An Artist...) Looking back to the not too distant days of steady employment I think of the things that I took for granted, like having a car, going out when I don't feel like cooking, etc.
Here are some things that have changed in my life:
---> I no longer have a car, I have since traded to a much greener form of transportation: a bicycle. It is not a problem, really. I live right in the center of Hyannis, so everything that I need is easily accessible. I can ride to the supermarket (And I have my choice of several within a few miles.) There are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby. There are two art supply stores, although they are actually those big chain "craft stores" and they suck! ( but that is a topic for discussion in itself.) One of the drawbacks is that Hyannis is not nearly as green as I am. The only people that seem to ride bicycles other than me are those who can't drive, whether that is because of finances or more likely because they are no longer in possession of a drivers license. Because of this, there doesn't seem to be any bike lanes, or bike racks for that matter. In fact the only places that I've found bike racks in this town are where the homeless seem to hang out; the homeless shelter, The methadone clinic (not that I've actually stopped there...), the mall, and the package store.(Yes, I have actually used that one!) Another draw back is stupid drivers. People either don't see you, or don't know what to do around you. For nighttime riding, I got myself some nifty flashing lights so that I stand out. People don't quite know what to do around them either. The front light is a blue-ish white, and the rear is red, they flash and alternately. Not too long ago, I was pulling out of a side street, and I accidentally "pulled-over" an older woman in a Toyota Corolla.
---> Television. It's a distraction. I could watch CNN all day. Not to mention the cost of cable is through the roof. So I got rid of it. Not just the cable, but the T.V. as well. Since Internet is a necessity, I now watch anything that I need to see through my computer. Having lectured for a living, I also have the luxury of having a digital projector. So now, not only do I watch what I want when I want, but I get to watch it on a ten foot screen.
---> There are some other things... A kitchen renovation has been put on hold. Of course, I was halfway through it at the time. So, now my kitchen consists of a dorm fridge, two hot plates, a toaster, a microwave (which I never use...), and a George Foreman Grill. Apparently, this is more than you really need, because I am eating like a king. I'm doing the dishes in the shower, but I'm eating like a king.
--->Heat. It really hasn't even gotten that cold yet, but one of the things that I miss the most is most definitely heat. The thermostat has been set on fifty-eight degrees and does not go higher. That's cold. Remember, the last place that I lived for any length of time was Florida. Fifty-eight degrees is winter coat weather. To try and compensate for this I've moved my studio to the empty dining room, upstairs , out of the basement, next to a radiator. I just had the chimney inspected hoping for the best. I need some work before I can light a fire in there. Oh well. Does anyone know a mason that likes art? So for now, layers! and if I can find some fingerless gloves....
---> Lastly, sociability. I really just don't have the money to go out anymore. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. I get more work done, especially on a weekend where Comcast just doesn't work. But I do miss having people to talk to.
All in all, I think that these are pretty small sacrifices to make in order to do whatever it is that you want to do. But, if you find yourself in the neighborhood, feel free to drop in. (Just wear a sweater.) Or, if you or someone you know need any paintings buy one from me. I'm gonna need some grocery money next week... So until next time, stay well.
(Psssst... click here if you want to buy a painting)
(Or here if you want a gallery like mine)