Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For the love of it.

This post was inspired by Megan Auman's post.

I’ve talked to high end jewelry artists at shows for years and felt very let down by the fact that many of them are able to make their beautiful work because they inherited money or someone else really supports their habit. I don’t have this option. My professors told me that when I got out of school I’d make very little money. They should have said no one in the jewelry field would pay you a living wage (health insurance is a joke) so you’ll either have to live with you parents or (a phrase I love) fuck a guy to get by. I’ve struggled a lot because I really don’t have a studio (I have space in my parents barn but it’s too far to travel after work), you can’t have tools and torches in an Apartment legally so I don’t. I can barely afford my apartment so I can’t also rent a studio right now. So what do I do?

I’m proud of the fact I still work on my jewelry, mainly sketching now and reading books I’ve purchased. My full time job allows me to look at art jewelry all day and assist other artists with their dream of having their own business. I learn a great deal of the importance of the business end. Having your own business making jewelry does mean at least ½ of your time your working on the paperwork. I get to make things about every other month in the barn. I’m extremely proud of the fact that I live on my own, support myself and have even paid for surgery out of pocket all by myself. I’m independent and it has given me confidence I never knew I had.

There is a wall we have to overcome to reach our dreams. It is there so that the ones that truly want that dream and will fight for that dream and climb that wall. You have to work for your dreams and not be derailed by rejection or rude comments by others. This is your dream, stand up for it and love it. There are occasional days to be sad, it happens and it’s ok. But if it was easy to just start your own art business anyone could do it, it wouldn’t be special. We must all work together, share information, encourage each other, and comfort one another when things get tough. We are a community and a family of artists. Stay focused, take care of yourself, and press on. You have already succeeded!


alisa said...

while i think that's true, it's also one of the reasons i won't be doing any shows for the next 9 months. i've decided that i want to build a career as an artist and not as a production worker. so i'm going to focus on more one of a kind and limited edition work. some people think i'm crazy, but i need to rediscover why i fell in love with metal and jewelry. not be tied to paperwork and making the same cheap necklace 85 times. and i kind of figure, i'm not really making money at this anyway, so i might as well not make money making what i want. :-) i'll let you know how my experiment goes.

Valerie A. Heck said...

That sounds great Alisa! Definitely keep me posted! I also don't necessarily want to make the same piece a million times so we'll see what direction my jewelry takes.
Happy Holidays!