Becoming a "Working" Artist
"When I work, I work very very fast, but preparing to work can take any length of time."
After all, this is how I was raised. My mom is an artist. I was encouraged to keep creating, keep making. Singing. Dancing. Acting. Expressing myself came naturally and even after other people started leaving their youthful creativity behind, I continued to create, to "art" in any way I could, whether it was with my hair or my clothes or the poems that came rushing out of me.
But, let me be clear: I have not ever (before now) considered myself a "working* artist." I eschewed the term "work." I ranted and railed against it, in fact, "work" reminded me too much of those days when I was a grocery clerk and had to do tasks were laid out for me each day.
I have gotten too used to my freedom, to not having a job** in which I had set hours (other than the ones I set).
So, here I am, growing in my artistry, growing in my blog and on etsy and I STILL wasn't thinking of it as "work," just something that I really, really like to do and am having fun doing.
I've been reading all these entrepreneurial blogs and studying the art business (and wanting to take the Goddess Leonie's "Business Goddess" course, though I'm not quite there in terms of making time for it -- I actually have a couple of e-books/ e-courses that I am in the process of starting). And yet I was still not thinking of what I am doing as "working." Huh. Disconnect much?
And then I had an intake meeting with my art/ business coach on Tuesday.
And WHAM, my world has exploded in a glitter-flinging explosion of change.
Suddenly, I am able to get serious. I am able to consider the effect my words have on my work, on my life. And yesterday, I offhandedly wrote in my journal, "I love this work I am doing."
And so, by my own hand, by my own design, and very much by my own desire, I am now officially, a working artist.
And it feels great.
*Does "working artist" mean someone who is getting paid for their work, or someone who is consistantly making time for their art, to "work" on it? Either way, I didn't consider myself "working" at art. Other than when I was performing (and then teaching) belly dance.
** Motherhood as a job is a debatable topic, let me simplify here by saying it was a shit-ton of work to have a child to take care of 24/7 before he started preschool, but since it was neverending it did not seem like a "job" to me, and calling it "work" instead of "life" also seems strange to me. But that's a post for another day.