I need a wife. But I am one. In there lies a predicament. I don’t want a modern wife, a liberated one with her own goals … like me. I want the other kind, like the ones from the fifties who freshen up before you arrive home, mix you a cocktail, clean the house, make dinner – and manage all of the small business details of your artistic career.
OK, I really just want one who will manage all of the small business details of my artistic career.
Striving to be a better painter takes continual ‘work’ if I can call it that. It takes time. And the better you get, the more you want to put out there so that it is seen, and it sells, and it grows. Unless you are ‘kept’, you need to feed your pigment habit, as well as your family. This forces either economic success, or an alternative income. If those are my options, well… there is no option.
I’m fortunate. I stumbled into a nice career of finger painting (believe it or not). I’ve managed to create a income as an artist, though my tactics were far from traditional. My success depended as much on my ability to produce a proposal as it did the art I created on site. The balance of business and art were equally weighted, no doubt about it. As the years move on, I’ve become more and more dedicated to classical art, and the study of it. All I’ve ever wanted was to be an artist, surrounded by peers, making a difference in the world. My vision has become more focused, and my dedication and passion for it has not wavered.
But all the tenacity in the world doesn’t change the fact that if art is to be your business, there is business to be done. There is as much going on behind the easel as there is in front of it: web sites, blogs, shows, frames, marketing, client contact, press releases, finance and taxes. It is almost too much for one creative mind to absorb, let alone accomplish. Complicating the issue is that the more time I spend in front of my easel, the less time I want to spend at my desk. But it seems that their demands for attention coincide. One without the other is only half the recipe, and your cake will flop – unless of course you have a good wife. Then perhaps it will show up well frosted.