I have a tiny studio in my home that is my workspace, refuge and factory. A place where occasionaly incense floats through the air only to be replaced by the smell of paints, and music permeates it all. Working from home I have produced artwork for numerous children’s books, commercial art like business cards and corporate logos, plus more self promotions and speculative projects than I need to list here. It is where I am the most relaxed and by far the most creative. So it always cracks me up when I hear people tell me they “don’t have the self discipline to work from home. “
Admittedly I may have some advantage because most of my school years were under the rule of Catholic nuns to whom discipline, self reliance and responsibility were imperatives . But setting that aside It still makes me wonder about some people. First of all being incapable of working unsupervised isn’t something I’d want to broadcast about myself. Secondarily, and much more importantly, I feel sorry for you if you don’t have something in your life you truly enjoy doing. Something that is wonderfully totally utterly consuming. For me that is art. It makes me feel alive. I crave new projects, new challenges, new outlets and typically spend much more time with each project, and at a much higher focus rate, than I would ever invest in a conventional 9 to 5 “Real Job”. The self discipline they talk about is an attitude, a way of approaching things. It starts with viewing Artwork as a job… as work. Otherwise we’d be calling it Artplay. Artwork is what I do to make a living. It is my job. I create something for others to use. What the client wants, or the Art Director dictates is what I produce. It is why they pay me. Art is something I do for myself. It is an expression or a statement, a release or fulfilling of an urge or a thought. if I earn money making art it is an unexpected bonus. I rarely begin an art piece with the idea of selling it. While I get a great rush from illustrating a book or creating a logo, in the end it is a pleasurable means to making money. I admit that it took some work getting past my Hippie mindset telling me that making money from creating art was somehow distasteful , but now it is easy to keep Art and Artwork seperated and that other side of me is satisfied.
Where the Muse leads me to is Art. It is mine to share. Of and from me. I knew at a young age that being creative for a living was my path. The life of an artist suits me very well. I’ve worked many “Real Jobs” for small companies and large corporations. All the while I learned my craft on the side and learned just how business works. It also allowed me to fully experience why working for someone else makes no sense to me. With all that said I feel incredibly fortunate to be able carry on through this life doing what I love and possibly making a memory in some little person who sees my pictures.
And now to make sure it continues, you will excuse me while I get back to work, right?