Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Laura's Owls

When I dropped by Laura's place yesterday to pick up aqua paint for my herring set dressing, I caught her working on her latest polymer clay (brand name Fimo) creations: owls. She shapes them around eggs, which gives them their cheery fatness.I am always encouraging (harassing?) Laura to start selling her art online, so she could eventually quit cleaning houses for a living. It upsets me to see how that heavy work damages her already fragile hands. I even started a blog for Laura last year, but now I have lost the password. Some manager I'd be.Some are, but most artists I know--including me-- are not very good at administrative skills, at least at managing their own art (including writing) as a business.
There may be some self-protection going on: the art itself wants to stay small and close to home; the art-making self knows that the marketplace would knock it sideways.
Sometimes I think we may be afraid, not having the skills to deal with the bright bustle. And possibly afraid for good reason: the energy is so different from--and sometimes antithetical to--art making. For some, attending to the business-side of art is like making an owl hunt during the day.

What it takes to make art does not always coexist with what it takes to pay the bills. Yet the bills are real.
Well, this is nothing new... I'm just thinking aloud here; I don't know what to do about this conundrum myself. When I work for other people very much, my own creative self shuts down. Mostly I've always lived on the cheap, to keep my time free. But moviemaking is making me think more about this: it costs money, even just buying tag board and tin foil, as writing does not.

And then, I wonder how this money/time exchange will play out as I get older. I guess I'll find out, godwilling.


ArtSparker said...

Well, etsy is probably worth a shot - it's 20 cents to list something for six months. I haven't had a lot of luck with it, but it may be the kind of thing I'm selling (mosaic plates to hang on the wall). It can feel wonderful to have someone like one's work enough to buy it - And etsy is pretty easy to use. They take a percentage of the sale, and people can make payments through paypal. Let me know if you want more info.

Fresca said...

Thanks, ARTS, I've suggested Etsy to Laura too. It's a complex set of reasons why people do or do not pursue these avenues.
Maybe we should all swap being each other's managers. : )

Annika said...

This is much more superficial than your thoughts - as per usual! - but it's an association to the theme of lacking a skill or interest that's needed in one's work: now that I've been to a few conferences where researchers and scientists present some little slice of their work, I've realised that being great at science doesn't make you a good, or even adequate, speaker. Sometimes their poor English plays a part in this, but I've also suffered through speeches by prominent British researchers who go "and the - and the - the - the- the- POINT of this is, is, is..." or spend 60% of their talk going "ummmm". Wouldn't it be great if those people started hiring actors to hold their presentations for them? The assignment would of course involve much communication between the author and the actor and the author would have to be present at the talk to answer questions and possibly make corrections. It'd be hard work for the actor, but also interesting work, I imagine.
The bottom line seems to be: we all need each other and each other's different skills.

Fresca said...

Ummmmmm, thank you for this amusing comment, Annika!
Wouldn't it be great if we could link these different skills up? The artists could help the scientists could help the business people could help the artists.

"we all need each other and each other's different skills."
--That sounds pretty profound to me. Where would Kirk be without Spock?