I think people who are creative are the luckiest people on earth. I know that there are no shortcuts, but you must keep your faith in something greater than you,and keep doing what you love. Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.” — Judy Collins
My husband will often call me in from my studio for dinner. I’m busy. I’m right in the middle of something, I respond. Or my brother will quip that I haven’t really retired but have just found another job. Yes, I agree.
When I go out to my studio, a commute of about 30 feet, I am lost to the world. Music or recorded books. Ideas abound. Running out of something to paint or express is totally foreign to me.
This does not mean that there are not challenges or some labor involved. I spent several days recently cleaning my studio. Let me be frank. Artists are pack rats. We can always think of something we can do with the flotsam and jetsam in the creative space. This could be useful. Maybe I’ll need this some day. Really! But, there comes a time to clean and to toss.
I have spent plenty of time at the burn barrel…mostly with few regrets. Occasionally I think of something that I’ve gotten rid of and wish I had saved but it was probably for the best.
And then there is the business side of art. Following up on e-mails and phone calls. Scheduling exhibits and competitions. Ordering supplies. Keeping up with the money…or lack thereof. Successful artists really pay attention to these details.
But, this isn’t anything at all like writing a fifty page grant application (or final grant report). Or next year’s budget. Or a formal business plan for a new venture just because the powers that be never thought you could. (They were impressed. And someone else ran off with the business plan. Pfftt.)
So, yes, I’m retired and have a steady income stream. That is always a relief. But the more important thing is that I just get to do what I want with my time. And I want to create art. That’s enough. It’s not work.
“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?” — Warren Buffet