Wednesday, August 31, 2016


If you hear a workshop instructor say,
"Oh it's okay if my class doesn't make, I'll come teach anyway"
"I don't care if it's one person, we will have the class!"
"It's okay if you don't have airfare in your budget, I'll just fly out there at my own big deal"
or any thing like that.....
they have:

A: a husband with a very good job 
or a pension from some big company

B: a sugar daddy

C: Had a very good job themselves with a great retirement program

D: An anonymous donor who is paying all their bills

E: They won the Lotto

F: Born with a silver spoon....

or other similar situations.
In other words, they are able - God bless 'em - to teach for fun.
BELIEVE me, I wish I could do that...

HOWEVER, My husband and I live off of his police pension and my social security....and...
my art.
Without that last one, we would be selling our home.
I'm serious.
I'm not saying all this to gain sympathy or sales or anything like that...I'm saying it because I think the public needs to be educated on artists who make a living or depend heavily on their art to pay the bills vs. those who do not.
Believe me, there is a huge difference.
One is looked on as "oh aren't they generous" and the other looked on as "Greedy"!!
I guess I got to thinking about all this as I prepared my studio today for students coming in tomorrow.
This studio didn't get paid for by money I "happened" to have.
It came about from a loan.
And I didn't build it to teach in...I was doing about 13-14 art fairs a year at that time. I was using it go create art to sell to pay my bills.
As I have blogged before, It all changed in 2009 when I went back to work as a nurse and I only sold in galleries or online until 2012 when I retired.
Guess what.... the studio payment was still there and all the other bills and I needed to make money.
Thus, the beginning of my teaching venture.

If you have been keeping up with my blogs, you know that all that is changing once again, but what doesn't change are those bills.
Over the years I have come up with all kinds of things to sell besides my original art:















oh this list is endless!!
Some things are successful, some not so much....
Some just plain died from lack of interest!

But I keep trying.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is ... be patient with those of us who struggle with this need to make a living through our art.
ESPECIALLY, those who are setting up their tents all over the country. THOSE are the ones who are serious. Many instructors are just "playing" but art fair artists are not.
We are very very serious!

Creating art is something that is inside of us and has to get out, but we need to survive also.
I wish I could just paint..paint what I want...and give it away just for the joy of creating.
I wish I could just pack up and go teach without concern of paying for the trip....
I wish....but as a dear person in my life used to tell me
"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride"

Yeh....the truth is.....
I have to make a living
and so do a lot of other artists.

And I for one DO appreciate all of you who get this...
This is more for those who don't..

Thanks for listening

interesting tidbit about Suzi:
I haven't always just done nursing and art.
My original career was as a draftsman back when draftsMAN was the correct label and women just didn't do this. In my drafting career I was an architectural draftsman, a steel detailer and a pipeline detailer.
I have been a bookkeeper. My Parents owned their own welding business and Mom was the bookkeeper. My children's Dad was a welder and I learned the bookkeeping and we took over the business when my folks retired. 6 years into it my husband was killed in a truck wreck and we had to sell it all.
At one time I was a jewelry engraver at a local jewelry store.
I was a police dispatcher for University City in St. Louis.
That was a very interesting job and I loved it.
I also found my husband John there :)
Oh, and I did some legal secretarial work for awhile.
I also worked for several years as an activity therapist 
in a mental health center.
Nursing wise I was a Labor and delivery nurse, Office Manager for a Pediatric Clinic, taught Lamaze childbirth, Surgical scrub nurse, worked on the Urology floor at Jewish hospital in St. Louis (Now Barnes - Jewish) and my last nursing job was as medical office supervisor in an Drug and Alcohol center as a detox nurse.
Just thought you might enjoy that list of things I have made a living doing in my life.


  1. Love your courage and tenacity Suzi!

  2. No doubt you do such colorful, creative art. Your life has gone many directions and I can see that in all your amazing artistic endeavors. Proud that I own many of your original pieces of art, postcards, coloring book, samples, journal, stencils. You inspire me to doodle, draw, paint, create and just have fun. A friend and avid fan... Kaye

    1. Awww. Thank you my friend. I do appreciate you and you know that!

  3. I love your work and would love to support you and other artist like you, but I live off Social Security and all I can afford to do is gaze at others art work. You have inspired me on YouTube and I thank you for that. I am very sure your classes would be great fun! Wishing you all the luck in making a living. :-)

    1. And I totally understand that Shirley!! My point is more toward people who think we should just "give our art and our time away". Like I said, some can..I'm just not one of those. Hey...we artist need gazers!! lol!! Thanks.

  4. I too, can no longer afford to buy art I love from artists I admire, but would love to be able to. You have always been so inspirational. Thank you!

    1. I can't either!! Lol! The only way I have others art is either a gift or trade. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. Replies
    1. Of my "work" list? Lol!! I like to be well versed :) Plus just not afraid to try new things.

  6. Suzi you are my most favorite person in the art world! I love you for saying it the way it is! I am just like that too! You have always been an inspiration to me and I wish you all the best in everything you do! xo

    1. Oh wow! Thanks Deb!! That makes my heart happy :) I always have been one who pretty much tells it like it is but it also has gotten me in trouble in the past. I try to say it gently now! LOL!! You are loved :)


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