Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our Greatest Assets

Today was a fabulous day! I knew waking up today that I would be having company over, so I got out of bed extra early and cleaned up the disaster area which was my studio/office and the hair ball that was the rest of my house. I just love a clean house, but when I am in the midst of a busy streak, like I am right now, cleaning becomes a very low priority. My entire desk was nothing but a mess of stones, wire and plastic bags and I would just sit hunched over working on my lap, cursing because I kept dropping everything or sitting on my tools. But I just couldn't bear to spend the 15 it would have taken to just put things away. Some call this laziness, I call it an uncanny knack to focus solely on work and lunch. Naturally I would never let the outside world see that I am such a dirt ball so I clean for company. Cleaning for company is the best! I love entertaining as much as the bi-product which is the drive  and ability to clean your whole house in under an hour!

My reward was the company of two fellow artists. Talking to them was a treat that I do not often get. This little community I have found myself in is something I value so much! I have been working as a jewelry designer and a small business owner now for about 5 years, full time for the last two years solid, and in doing that I have so longed for the camaraderie that I have now found.

This past fall I had the opportunity to go back to the University of Evansville to speak to the senior art students.  I told them all, be confident in what you do and how you work because when you graduate, your artistic sounding board is essentially gone. It is something I wish someone told me when I was approaching ex-art studenthood (like adulthood...but not quite). It came as such a shock to me when it finally dawned on me that days were spent alone in one room with no one to talk to other than my dog...who is great to talk to but is not as skilled on giving feedback.

The full time, self employed artist is perhaps not as rare of a breed as it once was thanks to the surge of people coveting all that is handcrafted, but we do work in special circumstances that others do not. I was told by one of my artist friends this morning that when she was in art school artists were so competitive with one another. This, I am sure, is still very true in many ways and places but you can find people out there who are there to support you and you should find joy in supporting those artists right back. I am going to say this...I am going to put this out there for anyone who has perhaps not realized it yet, but for us artists.......OUR GREATEST ASSETS ARE EACH OTHER!

Thank you Melinda ( ) and Sarah ( for the inspiration, conversation and coffee talk this morning.

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