Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Art as Business

I have recently come to a decision.  I have decided to pursue my art as a business.  I don’t think I consciously made this decision.  I made choices towards this decision but never said it out loud let alone thought too long on it. 

In my life whenever the idea of pursuing my art more professionally came up all I could hear was my mother’s voice of negativity.  Words like stability, income, resources, time, and reality would pop in my head.  And then I would promptly dismiss the idea of my art as a business with excuses such as; not enough time, too many other hobbies, not good enough, or not enough space or resources.  I have recently begun to ignore these voices in my head.  Since doing this I have found myself effortlessly embracing the idea of my art as a business. 

Subconsciously I have begun to view my art activities in a new light.  I’ve been spending more time and energy in the studio without feeling guilty of abandoning my other hobbies or neglecting my relationships.    If anything I feel justified at spending extra time in the studio; for the future of my husband and me, and whatever family we may have in the future.  I have somehow rearranged my priorities without even realizing it.

It was just yesterday, as I was re-doing, yet again, a drawing I have for a block I want to carve, that this subject dawned on me.  Usually I would be satisfied with the first drawing and wing it through the carving process, but I found myself wanting to map out every single detail of the drawing so I could carve a perfect block the first time round.  I realized my work ethic was being redirected to my art.  It was then that all this effort I’ve been putting into art revealed its true purpose to me.  I have stopped thinking about art as just a hobby. 

Everything I do in the studio feels like it has more purpose.  My sketching feels like research and practice.  My redrawing doesn’t feel like I’m wasting time.  My experiments make me feel better about processes I’m pursuing.  It all feels like work, but work I’m really happy to do.  It also makes me feel angry about all the time wasted in not pursuing art as a business.

I have always been a diligent worker; ask anyone who has worked beside me.  But now I get to be a diligent worker in my preferred field, art.  I still work my day job, which makes me work even harder and longer hours in the studio.  The more practice I get with drawing, sketching, craft nights, artist field trips, experimental techniques, blogging, markets, teaching, pricing, printing, editing, ect.; the closer I am to my art as a business.  The closer I am to being the person I use to day dream I would be.

This is the re-drawing I was working on when this train of thought struck me like freight.
I spent the rest of the evening thinking about all the choices I have made lately and how they reflect in
this decision I have subconsciously made.
Even at the end of the night I sat down to do a quick sketch and it reflected this choice and the path ahead.

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