I’m guessing that some of you think that I have a dream job. I get to make art, go to parties and shows and generally have a good time. Outside of school, there is no one to check up on me, no time clock to punch, no daily grind. That is all well and good, but that means I have a whole other set of challenges. There is no one to keep me on track, no real tasks I must do, not much of a daily routine, except what I impose on myself. Over the years I’ve done pretty well with being self motivated but sometimes I go through times when it gets pretty challenging.
I keep up with classes and teaching responsibilities fine because I made a commitment and people are relying on me to fulfill it. I actually really enjoy working with students and helping them discover the joys and frustrations of photography, especially the darkroom process. I relish the autonomy given to me as a college professor and I pride myself on a job well done at the end of each semester.
My studio practice can be more difficult. It’s actually easier when I have an exhibit scheduled and a shorter amount of time to pull it together. Or when I have to prepare and create pieces to paint on stage. Deadlines have a way of invigorating me. Gallery owners asking for artwork is a fabulous thing. But there can be a lot of time that it’s up to me to drum up the work or find a new gallery to push the exhibition schedule and that is where I have a hard time.
The hardest part of being an artist for me is the marketing and networking and selling aspect. I have no trouble socializing but the business aspect begins to freeze me up. Even getting myself to sit down and write and send out updates to people who have asked for it can be a struggle. I’m not quite sure why I’m telling you all of this, but I guess it’s just part of my new philosophy of not avoiding the taboo. I’m just going to be open and honest and let the chips fall.
But I’ve also been praying for something to change, for inspiration, for more self discipline, and for the strength to rise to the challenge. If you’re the praying sort, I’d ask that you pray for me that way, too. If you’ve got any words of wisdom or encouragement to share, please do. And if you’re willing to be my part time boss, that might be helpful, too.