Art in daily life
I feel like being an artist is something of a full time job, and at the same time never a job. A job is generally something one does for a wage, while actual art seems to be a vocation– something one is called to do. We do it because it calls us, we live in it and for it and we do it as best we can whether it is painting, teaching or running a cafe. While art does sometimes produce money it’s not a dollars-per-hour sort of money. If it is I would be tend to call it a craft, regardless of medium… but that’s another subject altogether, and a thorny one. Another time.
I say full time because I count the time I stare at the wall moving things in my mind, I count pacing in hardware stores and talking to strangers in coffee shops. Reading, thinking, looking at the way light falls on a leaf, arguing with people, listening. Whatever feeds your Work.
I am writing this because in the past month my husband and I made a decision between a consuming project that would slow our respective arts for a good 5-10 years and a part-time hobby. It was a choice between two houses to buy. One was an Old Victorian that needed a large amount of help. It needed a couple years of work just to be truly safe. It was beautiful, a good bargain and well located. If we had bought that it would have eaten too much of a critical amount of the energy and thought that goes into my process, not to mention time.
I am now writing from our new house, which can use a hobby-level amount of personal touches but does not need an entire transformation. I have always wanted to design and build my own house. Maybe I will, but only when I plan to set my Art aside for a few years. Not now.
There is a balance to be had between living a life that is rich and interesting in ways that inspire one’s work and having the discipline and time for the work itself- so that when all is said and done there is energy and time adding to that experience going into the work itself.