Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Perks and Drawbacks of Being an Artist

Hello, floor. I can see most of you now. You could use a good sweeping. But I'll get to that tomorrow. I need to focus on organizing art supplies right now.

Being an artist definitely has its perks. I've known that I wanted to be an artist since I was three years old. My first childhood ambition was to have red hair, sit on rocks singing all day, and get married on a boat (under a rainbow, of course). But my mom had to explain to me that being the Little Mermaid wasn't the best career choice. So I decided I'd become an artist. As simple as that. I didn't even really know what it meant. And still, I was dead on. I was an artist before that day. I've always been one, in some way. Granted, my viewpoints were mostly amateur, but I still noticed things. I still had that urgency to make something itching from my nose to my fingertips to the soles of my shoes where I can feel ideas escape me while I trip over new ones.

I'm not a professional, really. Not yet. Maybe not ever. I don't know that it's something that really needs to be classified as such. I am an artist. I see things differently. And that is enough. I know that with every breath I inhale, my lungs expand, overflowing with beauty that most people never see or notice or think about. My lungs are left aching until I can share that with someone. And that is something I am so thankful for. I'm glad I don't have to look forward to a job where I sit in a cubicle with a photo of my future family in a frame purchased from Walgreens sitting on my desk. I don't have to look forward to white offices with white walls and people wearing their white, freshly ironed shirts. Instead, I look forward to...nothing specific, really. I don't really know what exactly I'm going to do when I graduate. I have some ideas, but why ruin the surprise? I think it's a little more exciting, the lack of job security, the unpredictability. If I do end up successful and happy, then it will be even greater.

I am so glad I decided to go to art school, and not study art at a general university. I am so glad I'm an artist. However, there are a few tiny disadvantages. Like many artists, I thirst for new places. I want to explore tiny, overlooked corners of the world. There are so many places I want to go and so many things I want to do. I wouldn't mind doing residencies here and there if I had the opportunity. But that might be a problem. Why? Because I'm just starting my third year of college, and I've already lived in a dorm, plus three other apartments. I think that's taking the whole "free spirit" thing to an extreme.

Moving sucks. The end. It really does. My dad will never forgive me for carrying boxes down 18 steps, up 2, into the van, and up 42 more. And I have a lot of boxes. Why? Because I'm an artist. The worst kind, at that. Let's look at my go-to media, shall we? Stop motion animation: the kind I do often involves objects interacting with people; therefore, it requires such objects. Hand drawn animation: drawing supplies and paper supplies. Cut Out Animation: Requires things to cut out, and therefore, more papers. Collage: let's not talk about how many different papers and 2d materials and scraps I have lying around (actually, organized as of now). Sewing/embroidery: often overlaps animation or collage, but still requires oodles of supplies, like fabric, scissors, ribbon, thread, floss, hoops, pens... Oy. I prefer to think of it as collecting collections, rather than hoarding.

So if you're thinking to yourself that I've been in Cleveland for a couple weeks now, and I'm STILL not organized! then hold up. Think about all the different art supplies that are breeding among my shelves. It's a rather daunting task to organize them all. I suppose I'll finish tomorrow. I've said that a few times before.

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