Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What it's really like to do art for a living —

We like to joke about the comments that have accrued over the years, things like:

     You are so lucky! You get to stay home all day and do art!
      It must be so great that you don't really have to work!

(My boss used to say that she had a factory in her home, now she says that she lives in a factory.)

And then there are the comments in another vein altogether:

     When are you going to get a real job?
     Are you still doing that little art job?
     Did you go to New York to do shopping?

Shopping? SHOPPING?!

So, in case there's any question, yes, it's a real job. I run a small business, a small booming business with one helluva boss/artist-in-chief, and there's nothing "little" about it.

Today we discussed scheduling the shipping for this year's wholesale show, and we're up against a frighteningly close deadline. We lost a troublesome full-time employee yesterday, a mixed blessing; while our other fully-trained assistant is on sick leave with a seriously debilitating illness. Two new hires, a full line of prototypes to make and, wait, did someone mention Christmas?

We'll slip under the wire; we always do. I'm so used to pulling rabbits out of hats that the hat is frayed on the edges, the rabbit is getting on in years.

I have a fear that I'm going to succumb with a paintbrush in my right hand, an order in my left hand, the timer beeping on the "kitchen kiln", shipping labels being spit out of the printer while the UPS truck waits at the curb, engine idling.

But hey: abracadabra!


  1. You nailed it! I may go down in the sandblaster.... But if it weren't for you, I'd go down fretting!

  2. I shall be having words with my agent.

  3. Reminds me of college students who would take an art class for an "easy" A. No way, Jose.

    You work your you-know-what-off, keeping a thriving enterprise going. My hat's off to you and Melinda. Hey - if you want to have me help in NYC some year, give a holler. It would be a lot of effort, but probably lots of fun!

  4. I doff my earmuffs (which I wear in the sort of weather we're having -- as I wear hats in intense heat) to you guys, and to you in particular!

    Love, C.