As an artist, downtime rarely happens at all – whether we are driving on days between shows, or printing between shows at home, or getting set up for the next show, we hardly ever just sit and contemplate what we might want to be doing with our time.
So what DO we do when we aren’t working?
But, because work is fun, it has become not only work, but a hobby, a life-style, and the things we love to do most. We usually will walk along the beach looking for findings for jewelry creations. Or look around the desert for some cool rocks to wire-wrap or include in a new mixed-media piece of art. Or we will be looking at other artists’ websites to see how other artists create. Or, we are watching inspiring movies that usually spark new ideas.
It has become a lifestyle to see the little unseen things in the world. A little girl pitching a fit outside our booth becomes a little grumpy flowerfairy from the woodlands. The sunset becomes the color palette for a new landscape painting. The store we are visiting to purchase a clothing item becomes the inspiration for a new texture we want to add to some paintings…so while yes, we will occasionally sit on our behinds, we draw inspiration from everything life surrounds us with.
Happy things that make us smile. Stupid people that make us cringe. Stories that make us laugh. Clothing that transforms the wearing one. All are now part of what makes our downtime into worktime – we never clock out.
Which is why we love being artists.
We made it through this year’s Springtime shows in Florida, just in time for a bit more seasonal weather than we’ve had so far this year. Florida was colder than I ever remember it being for the past ten shows there – so hopefully that will statistically give us warmer temperatures for next year’s shows there.
With the rain and the cooler temperatures, we did not get to do a lot of venturing that we had planned to be doing this year – we spent quite a bit of time indoors, trying to dry out damp jackets and socks from the few times we did manage to go out.
We also spent quite a bit of time in mechanics shops – the mobile studio RV we travel in was having some severe digestion problems, causing it to stall out in the middle of traffic (always exciting to be the jackass at the front of the traffic jam in rush hour at a major intersection and be stuck there for 20 minutes or more.) We managed to oggle our way home with lots of stops on the way, so next week will no doubt bring more of that along with some major costs for repairs. But still – would not trade my job for the world. We meet quite a few “successful” people – stressed about their retirement funds they are trying to fill so they can do what we do when they are too old to enjoy it…I’ll take that pay cut and do things now instead.
My retirement fund is non-existent – might buy me a burger when I retire.
My investment fund – I think I remember having one, but don’t know if any of the companies are still alive. I prefer to invest in my kids instead.
My savings – hmmm…I think those went to the ex to buy my freedom from him.
My way of life – “disorderly”, “uncommon”, “unprecise”, “unplanned”, and “adventuresome” – yep. And what I was planning to do when my retirement fund was filled, my investment fund was doing well, my savings were enough to live on, and my kids were all grown.
I’ve decided life does not wait for you to accomplish things – you are meant to live, and roll with what comes your way. That is what I am doing. For better or for worse.
So in keeping with that, I’ve been spending some time in the studio again (liking the look of the word “Studio” much better than the word “Cubicle” for myself) – here is the status of the Work-In-Progress “Ewe’s My Sunshine”:
Ewe’s My Sunshine
The purple will be mostly covered by extra white wool, the sun will be more defined and a bit lighter. So far, I’m liking his face – makes me happy to see him sitting on my easel when I walk into the studio.