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9th Annual Art-a-Day Challenge, January 2018!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Feeling the Art Blues/ Realities of Contractor Work (Venting)

The last couple days have been full of client calls and appointments, job cancellations, product searching and ordering supplies for upcoming jobs- so much that I am resenting the thought of art at the moment. Well, not so much "art", but the business of art- selling myself, scheduling, contracts, the upkeep of the business, and the dependence of contracted/commission art as my bread and butter.

I feel ungrateful at times for feeling like this. I know that I am blessed that I've been able to survive using my skills and have been thankful for the flexibility of my job. It's exactly what I created for myself and it fit well at the time with what I needed.  But when your energy is spent on commissions/ contracted work you are sometimes creatively dry and not much is left for your own creations. The physicality of what I do is also something I'm facing. I had no idea how hard faux finish work was when I started, scaffolding, taping, overhead work etc. I was 10 years younger then anyway. And because it's considered a contractor's job you have the state in your business asking for contractors licensing, bonds, audits,  L& I, employment security, damage insurance, etc and if something doesn't hold up, gets dinged or a product fails you are responsible for it- it just doesn't feel like art!

I'm in the process of reinventing my art business but it is a slow you have to get to a place you can replace the income you have by building a new infrastructure and offering a new product or service.

So, I guess my art for myself, today and yesterday, was continuing to brainstorm and add to the redesign of  my website, start some more blog posts and continue the reinvention process. And over the next few years hopefully move my art along on a new adventure.


Bobi Wilson said...

I've no words of wisdom to share but hear your frustration and am sending great goobs of "perfect scenario" energies your way!

Chell Design said...

Thanks Bobi. "Perfect Scenario" energy, I like that!

I'll just keep placing one foot in front of another- hopefully watching the little things I do add into the whole perfect scenario..

I'm sure I'll feel better on a different day...

Jean Fu 陳琪 said...

I appreciate your insight, because many of us have romanticized a career with art, me included.

Patricia Kirch said...

I've had the blues
the reds and the pinks
All I can say is
Love stinks, ya ya
The J. Giels Band

In my words, not enough love for the arts stinks. Your work makes bland environments beautiful with colour. People stop, dream and then continue.
I too send energy your way!

Chell Design said...

Thanks Bobi- just feels good to vent!

Patricia- I do feel good knowing that. Now to evolve to something I can do that's less challenging on eyes and body.

Jean- I think art can be a fabulous career. But one must think with the end in mind first! If I was to start over I would be have added internet marketing as the end result to everything I do..instead of the old school marketing company I hired I would have spend $ on producing e-How To books, faux finish training and recipe videos, e-downloads, affiliate marketing, a product line, prints on demand etc. All things that you do one time and with the right supportive marketing it makes $ while you sleep, when work is slow when you vacation or retire. My favorite book is the "4 hour work week", I got it in 2008 and how I wish I'd started this then since it take a few years to get it all going.

Laura Gable said...

My heart goes out to you Chell. I had no idea there was so much red tape, and stuff involved in the work you do. Your strength, fortitude and integrity do show in your work. You are a class act, and your work is amazing. I can imagine how the physical labor would over time become so wearing on the body. You are a stronger woman than me! Hope your future is just as bright as you want it to be, as you plan the next "leap" you will take.

Chell Design said...

Laura- I feel a bit better today :)
Thanks for your kind thoughts. I do look forward to the new direction...I'm just trying to catch up on all the techy stuff. Luckily I have a family member who just graduated with a graphic design degree who is willing to learn with me all the e-commerce stuff!