Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Comment on a Comment

To Dia:
I hear you - I think this question about how an artist makes ends meet is important - how does one combine creativity with making a living. When I lived in New York and decided to design a line of jewelry, with just a few beads and a tube of glue, I felt like a poser. I hadn't studied jewelry design in college - so how in the world did I think I could start a jewelry business and actually charge people for my work?? I spent a couple of months in therapy pondering on this could I ever make a living off of creating something that I loved?
What I learned was that I had the power to design my own life. I was the one in charge. Yes, it helped that I had JZ who was willing to let me explore this path for a while without having to worry about paying the rent. In the end, I realized that what I had to offer was different than everyone else - and if I was willing to take my thought process, my creativity and push it a bit further - I knew I would feel satisfaction and maybe even be able to pay the bills eventually.
Someone told me a long time ago to put my own mark on everything I do - to personalize everything. At the time, I wasn't really sure what she meant - I thought I was putting my own stamp on everything. Years later, I realized that she meant EVERYTHING - everything is important and means something to someone. I have learned with French General that although sometimes I am bored with what I am doing or frustrated with the day - I am making a living by being creative everyday...I've learned to enjoy the process and take it day by day.
I hope you are able to find a way to create, inspire and earn - it's a fulfilling opportunity and one I think we should all strive for. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Thank you! I really needed to remember that behind any acomplishment there is a past of struggle, maybe of frustration and dreams that bump their wings on the heart's cage bars, trying to come to light. When you are young, inexperienced and living in a developing environment that encourages only the material, pragmatic part of life, leaving no room for creativity, beauty and dreams, it is hard to see the alternatives and to have the courage to choose the right path, to face the hardnesses and the eventual failure. I love what you wrote: "In the end, I realized that what I had to offer was different than everyone else". There are so many people that create something and they do it so well. Sometimes I wonder if I have something to offer too, something new and different. Yes, perhaps I must convince myself that 'I have the power to design my own life. I am the one in charge.' Thank you once again for the fact that you took your time to encourage me, I truly appreciate it, and hopefully I will soon let you know if the door of my little cage opened and let my creativity fly free:). I wish you all the best in the world!

Good Girls Studio said...

very inspiring , thanks for sharing!

debi lynn mattingly said...

Hi Kaari!
Great post! As a professional artist now for over 30 years and still making a living at it---it still is a "struggle" to keep one's spirit up and to wonder where one is heading on this creative path. I don't think that ever changes....what does change is that you know that you have "created" a life that you love, despite all the struggle.

At 52, I still ask myself sometimes---"What do I want to be when I grow up?" :)


Maija said...

And thank you for sharing your creativity!

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing to myself reading your blog. I remember going to NY every year twice a year for the gift show and this particular time I said to myself I wasn't leaving the city until I made the trek to FRENCH GENERAL....Most days we'd be the first at the piers and the last to leave Javitz. Oh we tried to have a day of inspiration here and there but so often we'd run out of time...However, I did make a run to Balthazar for lunch to go and a quick run into French General- I bought a French tip tray/porcelain dish with platinum stripes and paid about $20 or so for it...I remember my Mom saying
"what in the heck did you buy that for?". And I have adored it ever since. I saved the sticker, the bag- still have it and enjoyed every minute of inspiration in your NY Digs....since then, I have followed you via your web site and almost purchase your goodies for our store, but we closed it after 23 years just last June.So, every little thing you do and life you touch does make a difference- regardless of the direction it takes you. The only think I'm missing is your book! Next on my TO DO list....And next time I'm in CA, I won't leave the state until I stumble upon your place there...Holly

Gretchen C. said...

What you wrote-"making a living by being creative everyday...I've learned to enjoy the process and take it day by day" is exactly how I feel now. We should do what we love & love what we do! How can we be inspired if we don't love what we do?

I'm in that exciting and frustrating stage where I"m searching a new path in life. Thanks to everyone who shared in their struggles! It helps me stay strong and focused.


Kari said...

Great post! Thanks for your insight.