I know that the work is more important than the work space and I also know that the work is more important than the need to make a few bucks. But, I also know that I know what it feels like to need a few extra bucks and have no other recourse but to try to peddle my artistic wares to anyone who will take a moment to peruse them. I've been wrapped up in that scene for such a long time. I've had several people contact me over the years, artist people I should say, and ask me how to go about selling art on Etsy. These people, in my view, are usually much more financially stable than me, much more well-connected than me, and much more represented in the media than me, and yet, it is to me they come for help. I don't know exactly what that is supposed to say about me, but I say this in response: Well, I say to myself under my breath where the self-defensive she-wolf in me resides, I say: For starters you must lose your job. You must then have two small children who need to eat. You must have a husband who quit his job so he could support you in yours and then you must realize what a mess you have made of the employment situation within your household. Take those elements, mix them with severe Canadian winters, mental breakdowns of sorts, and general dystopian sentiments about the state of the world in general and your community in particular, and then... maybe then... you will find the drive and ambition within yourself to put your art, that has no professional backing of any kind, nothing to promote it but your own nervous self, out into the world, and then you might have the fortitude to try and try and try and try and try every damned thing you can think of to get the ball rolling so you can make some money off of the one thing you have left in this world to offer, so it would seem.
These things will get you started.
Then, open yourself up to the opinion of every single person under the sun whom associates with the art community and have them criticize your work, tell you it's not this enough or that enough or tell you the presentation is all wrong or that you don't belong because you aren't educated enough or tell you you don't belong because you don't know this person or that person, and above all of that, remove yourself from the local art scene as much as humanly possible without dying out altogether just to avoid certain parasites from your past who surreptitiously attempt to feed from, or thwart altogether, your attempts at success, be it ever so slightly, and take all (or none, it's up to you) of those things and ignore the fuck out of them and just put your art out there put your art out there put your art out there anyway for the world to see and judge and buy. If they want. And so I did and so it all has happened in ways I could never predict and I consider myself successful given the sea of self-doubt that I have swam through, coast to coast. All this and yet, I do not and cannot take credit for it all because something, somewhere, is out there watching out for me and blessing me and allowing me to move forward baby step by baby step and this I know for sure... so who and what am I in the grande scheme of things? I don't know how it all comes together for sure. It just does. I have no real advice to give. Don't emulate me, you don't know, or possibly do not have, the secret ingredient and it just won't work.
And so... I know. I know this one thing:
I know, in my heart, that this could go on for eternity but it is not what the point of being an artist is at all... and know that someday, somehow, you will find a little nook in time, a little space in this world, where you can meet yourself, face to face, with some decent paints, some good sized canvas, some decent brushes and nothing to really get between you and all of these things for an hour or two, once or twice a week, and know that this... this. THIS is where the magic is going to happen and where the real song and dance will ensue and where the romance will begin and the love-affair will move forward. I continue to remind myself that beautiful paintings and beautiful painters still exist in this world. There are still beautiful painters painting. And nothing more.
I've struggled with this whole art space/studio space thing for 12 years. For 12 years I have gone from place to place to place trying to find the chance to fall in love with painting as I once did, many many moons ago, before it came to be about absolutely everything but.
That day has come. I have everything I could possibly need. The space is finally ready.