Finding The Balance
As an “Arts Professional”, I find myself bouncing from one task to the next without stopping to really focus on what I want in my life. This weekend I decided to take my Sunday & Monday to do what I wanted which includes writing this blog posting.
A little honesty below…
I work full time for my business cre8ery gallery and studio as the Executive Director. The stress can sometimes be overwhelming. Lately the work needs to be completed more than once with reminders, deadlines being reset, worries that if they don’t get their info in time that I won’t reach the deadlines and get the work done before it needs to be. The studio artists look after their own businesses and I look after all the studio and gallery business, the cleaning, etc. Each time someone needs a new reminder, an extension, or changes to their exhibitions, floor plans need to be re-created, contracts, labels. All of these things seem simple but they take a very long time to do. When you factor in 12-15 artist changes within 5 weeks (4x in 5 weeks) plus the main gallery every 2, it takes a lot of time. Balance is a teeter-tauter. Its not me that is disorganized, its others that make me feel disorganized. I need to remember that. I’ve been in the gallery rental business for almost 15 years. Some days are so incredibly wonderful when the hard work is appreciated and I see the success come alive. When you do this work, the rewards come from smiles, congratulations and positive forward thinking. The downside is the job is ‘commission based’, if you make no sales, you make no money as a business. I’m not well off so I need to work a lot of hours to make enough money to be able to continue to pay bills for ce8ery and me! Clearly, Im not in this for the money.
I can’t help but dream and wish I could be a full time artist. The art of expression lives inside. I want to say everything completely visually. Words have never been my strength. I dream about the day I can work full time as an artist. Will that day ever come? Making art makes me happy. It can be incredibly frustrating especially when you make a ‘mistake’ you can’t ‘erase’ and you only pray for ‘happy accidents’. When I have the time to paint or, what I should say, when I take the time to paint, I notice that my level of ‘burn out’ decreases. I could do happy dances (and do) when I create the art. Its way less stressful. My website is some what out of date, I’ve left this part of my career slide a bit. Really if you want to see my works, come on by, I’ll show you around. I’m busy getting ready for the show in June at Gallery in the Park in Altona, MB. I know I could not live off of being only an artist, I don’t believe that is what I want, I just want to be able to balance even better than I already do.
In addition to being an artist, a gallery owner, I am also an art consultant. I absolutely love sharing my knowledge and expertise to other artists. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work and I know what distinguishes a professional artist from an emerging and an amateur artist. I would like everyone to be a professional and if I can help them reach their goals, that makes me proud of the artists they become. In the first 2.5 weeks of January 2017 I had met with five artists. I love it!
More recently I took on the task of being the curator at Nott Autocorp’s Art Gallery. There is a lot of work involved in doing this job. Finding artists, organizing their submissions, sending files to the website designer, creating a proper floor plan, labels, organizing pick ups and drop offs and installing the exhibitions. Essentially its another cre8ery as an administrator except I LOVE selecting the best works and showing Winnipeg what fantastic artists we have all around the city. A dealership is not your normal venue for art so the audience is different. Currently, I’m trying to figure out what art is the best fit. Again, I’m completely sales commission based…so its important I get buyers into that gallery. When I can no longer manage all these careers, I hope to work full time with venues like Nott Autocorp. I’d like to see it be one of the places you go to, to buy local art. I know the artists…I know the art…I wish I knew more buyers!
All in all my point of this article is, burn out is a real thing. Every once in awhile I need to open up my schedule and take some time for me. No matter how much work is unfinished, how many deadlines I am trying to reach, without my health, i’m not able to maintain these four jobs. This weekend, I made brownies, worked on art on my living room floor while listening to Netflix, made myself food when I was hungry and rested on the couch when I needed. I’ll never ever stop working no matter how much I have a rest day. A rest day to me is working less…not going to cre8ery (where I work on all four of my careers), and taking care of myself. The artist side of me, needs the most attention.
Thanks for listening. I believe others can relate to this crazy in the art world. Thankfully I have no kids, just a partner in life that takes good care of me. We appreciate each other’s strengths and recognize we each have weaknesses. I’m honest, always.
Please take a moment to comment below. I love hearing from you.
Once again, i’m not a strong writer, so please excuse grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I write these blog posts completely off the cuff just as the words come.
Keep creating. I’m getting back to the work now.