Monday, April 23, 2012

The Sweet and the Sour

(Actually the order of this story is going to be sour first then onto the sweetness. It works better for my time line.) It is through this blog that I share my struggles, curiosities and maybe a tinge of enlightenment into my artistic journey. With all journeys there are struggles, successes and different ways to get “there.” Between us, I’m not sure where  “there” is but that’s half the fun and getting “there” takes lots of time. Time is something I just can’t get a handle on. My sense of time is: if I have to be at some place on the hour, I will leave 5 minutes before the hour. I seem to believe it takes me 5 minutes to get anywhere. In my head, the longest it takes to get anywhere is 20 minutes. Reality has some equation that puts in traffic lights, time of day, other people and finding a parking spot. I just can’t compute these things. This formula creates a bitter side effect within my life; I have no time.
The sour situation; my workload was about to increase due to unforeseen circumstances. Truly I didn’t see it coming. We all know that in the work place some other coworker usually causes this when their lack of time appreciation is on display. Their burden shifts and it is suddenly placed upon you. This kind of happened in a round about way and I was called into action. Find the matches, find the oil cause it’s going to be a long night. I don’t have extra time but because of my occupation I can find the time. I have yet to figure out how to make time. With a little grumbling I figured I could do it; it wouldn’t take long. Fast-forward to 3 am and it’s still not done. Continue for another 48 hours and it’s almost finished. A bitter pill to swallow but that’s part of the gig and we all do it.
The sweet situation; I have the time to do random acts of multi-tasking. One of the side effects of time appreciation is the need to multi-task. I figure if I can’t manage time, I should do two things at once with it. This is the sweetness of my life. Considering I had finished my unforeseen project, I had some time to spare. Within this spare time, I had to exercise and run a few errands like picking up milk and some small items. My unbelievable approach to multi-tasking helped me utilize my time management skills. I had concluded it was a brilliant idea to ride my bike (exercise) to the store (get milk). A brilliant plan to burn calories and accomplish something within 5 minutes, ok maybe 20 minutes. Fast forward 3 hours; I had put air in the bike tires, climbed hills with a lack of physical strength, wandered through shopping aisles in search of a reward, namely chocolate, because of my successful multi-tasking. Then another journey home, back up the same hill I climbed to get there, so it seemed. I had passed so many things that I had never noticed while driving in a car. I had the wind at my back, the sun in my face and all the time in the world minus 3 hours for a gallon of milk. Now I digress; that was the best bowl of cereal I had eaten in a long time. A droplet in my espresso and I am off to find more time today and see how I can spend it…the benefits of owning your own one-man company. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It’s my fault

“Making money is art, and working is art, and good business is the best art,” says Andy Warhol. I couldn’t agree with him more on the art of business and the business of art. After all, this is my business. I make art. When I’m not doing other things like writing a blog or procrastinating on the task of making art. When I do make art, I need to sell that art; it puts food on the table, puts my kids in school and allows me to buy more art supplies to make more art. After that equation is all done, I’d hope to have a little money left over. But that left over money or how to make more money is not what this blog is about. It is about how I, along with many other artists, have a fault. Ok probably more than one fault, when it comes to business.

Here is my fault: grandiose ideas fueled by passion and inspiration. Not to knock the Wall Street guys but I don’t think any of them buy stock cause it’s inspiring. Not a bank in the world is going to lend money to an artist with that business plan. So I saved up my own money from my art sales and bought three overly huge, gigantic, custom-made panels to paint. For me, 48 inches by 96 inches is a bit on the larger size. Granted I’ve painted murals before but those were for outside or over a span of twelve booths. This size painting requires one large sofa.

I started with a little idea. Then with too much time alone, the thought rattled around in my head and got bigger and bigger and bigger. Then I had to call my framer to see if he could make it. I actually looked into making it myself but couldn’t wait. I needed it now! Another fault that many prudent business people don’t share. The framer, a good businessman, tried to persuade me out of it, saying it was too big, too fragile and would be too expensive. My inspiration and passion must have radiated through the phone because by the end of the conversation he was just as excited to build it, as I was to paint it. We negotiated a fair price and a deadline that was too quick for him, and too long for me to keep my inspiration bottled up. The phone call came and they were ready. I picked them up in my truck and drove back to the studio. The boards hung over the tailgate waving a red flag warning other motorists something big and awesome was on the way.

Here they sit in the studio primed white and ready to be painted, sketched, scratched, re-worked and made to shine. I sit and think wow! These are big! How am I going to move them or ship them? Who is going to want something this big? In this economy, who can afford something this size? What was I thinking? Then I think it is a small price to pay for something so big. It is the spark and inspiration that gets me up early and excited to be in the studio. It is a belief in an idea and a passion to pursue it that makes this the best job. I just hope somebody on Wall Street found a good stock and has a big wall this can occupy.