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 expense...no big deal"
or any thing like that.....
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...
Without that last one, we would be selling our home.
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:
*PACKS OF PAINTED PAPERS
*HANDMADE PAPER BOWLS & PLATTERS
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.