Breaking The Magical, Invisible Bubble

Hope everyone had a good holiday (and power outage free)!

My holiday was mild and relaxing. It helps when you’re part of an immigrant family, and most of your relatives are a continent away – aka no house visits, and brunches, and gatherings to travel back and forth to. I mean, there’s still close family, and giving presents, and a lovely duck dinner (if you can get past the occasional plume that escaped plucking…helloooo vegetarianism!). But it means Christmas, and most holidays, are quite literally do-nothing days, which might be the definition of heaven for all us procrastinators.

And before I procrastinate some more, here’s the four foot oil painting I mentioned last week, entitled “On The Surface”:

On The Surface

An excerpt from the (maybe slightly pretentious) description: “..an exploration of the strange, temporary, and fascinating beauty that exists only on the surface.”

Back to Christmas, I wanted to share with you an item I requested, well, the only item actually (the less you want, the more you have…to paraphrase a Stoic). This book, which, so far, is living up to its glowing Amazon reviews:

Side note: I’m not being paid to promote the book, but it’s the first I heard about such a practical guide book from working artists (who aren’t trying to sell you something), and it makes me incredibly happy that it exists.  

Living and Sustaining a Creative Life

“Living and Sustaining a Creative Life”, Essays by 40 Working Artists

It’s pretty much all the questions you want to ask every artist you meet, but can’t, because it would be rude, and possibly insulting (Hi, love your art..so, how exactly do you pay the bills every month?). You don’t talk about the practical ins and outs of how to get an art career going, how to thrive when it feels like you’re jumping off a cliff, and when/if it gets easier.  But why not talk about it?

Well, it would mean breaking this magical, invisible bubble where all that matters is the artwork – because art is above daily life, above all practical, menial tasks, and schedules and bills and mortgages and teaching and grant writing, and… well, the list goes on, and the enigma surrounding ‘artist as career’ continues.

Untitled by Vanessa Pesch | Saltwater Birch Studio

I mean, yes, the practical details can deflect from the work itself, but it’s still essential information for fellow artists, particularly of the self-taught variety, who don’t have the wisdom of former professors and art world ties to cushion them through the rough years. Fellow artists, where do you turn to for advice? Let me know in the comments below!

In the meantime: I’m wishing all of you a…

HappyNewYearAnd thanks for reading!

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Thoughts..

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