An Artist’s Life – Artist Frustration


So this is me having a rant. It has always been a little bit of a battle to juggle home life and art. But right now I have had enough. If it is not one thing it is another. Everything just seems to be more important than me getting to my studio.
My time is flexible yes but running your own business means that you have to work harder and longer hours. Being an artist is running a business. It is not some airy fairy career that means you can be stoned all night. Get up in the afternoon and waft into your studio. Here you throw some paint on your canvas call the ‘painting ‘ some, intellectual but verging on the bizarre, name. You then bumble into a hand-painted VW Beetle to meet some friends for coffee where you string together reams of adjectives to make incomprehensible sentences. All the while your friends nod intellectually.This is not art. Art is about the synthesis of philosophy , sociology, religion, politics, mathematics, science, anatomy, and every other subject depending on the artist’s research and culminating in an artistic expression. And all of this is completely depended on your marketing skills.

I don’t have a boss telling me what to do for that day. I have to be self motivate. I have to think up what I want to do next and then research that. This research can take days. I have to then get in the materials and then start the art piece. If I am interrupted in this process or have to take some time off, the ideas can sometimes pass me by. Some times you can loose the expression of what you are trying to say completely. So I start the process again, but doing this over and over can amount to nothing but ideas. And never get to an artistic expression of any kind. Frustration!
I am harbouring this frustration because I love my art but I also love my family and friends too. I have put 20 years into building my home. I am not about to throw all this away and suddenly not care about them all. That would be a form of rejection and that can lead to many problems not only for my kids and my husband but also for society in general. If you have a visit from a friend or a family member ‘ am I to say no I don’t want to see you’ . If I have a friend who is going through a hard time. Am I to tell that friend to make an appointment, perhaps i will deal with their problems the week after next. The boiler breaks should we freeze because my painting is nearing completion.
A child gets sick, no one is better than the mum no matter what age the child. A phone call from a friend you have not seen in ages.  How about the naughty dog who keeps getting into trouble. Some would say train him. Training takes time! I also have to squeeze some exercise into this schedule not to mention the normal cooking, cleaning, dog walking, mums taxi, social media,  and the part time job

Suspend
900mm x 500mm

I have made a sculpture called Suspend which deals with this issue. It is about when you have to hang up the things that you love while you are expected to do something else. It is as if you have interchangeable hearts. The bags represent the need to try to cover or hide the emotion but behind the facade you are still raw and bleeding.

‘There has got to be a line drawn somewhere.’
You see these issues are always going to be there. They are the circumstances. You cannot change the circumstances but you can change your attitude towards the circumstances.  There is always going to be a person on the end of the phone- I love my friends and I need them. I would never dare not help one of my children with a problem-I love them and I am proud of every development and every achievement. I love spending time with my husband- he makes me laugh and he makes me feel special.

My art adds value to my life but my family and friends add meaning to my art.

Crista Cloutier in her course ‘The Working Artist’ said ‘ Don’t make excuses for who you are. Be who you are’

And so I am the friend at the end of the phone, I am the mum who makes sure her kids are ok, I am the wife who loves her husband, the child who adores her parents, the daughter in law who loves her in-laws, and the owner of the naughtiest dog in world in spite of all the training.

And my art, well it shows it. It shows the frustration. It shows the hard work. It shows the perpetual start and stop. It shows real life. Instead of blaming, I am going to accept it. Ranting and raving is not working. I am going to change my attitude and try accepting. Personal success comes from within. And I am judging my success on external success. In other words what others think success is. Money, time sheets, quantity of product, this is not what drives me. Communication is what drives me. Communication through art. I at long last understand, that is why I make art!