Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blame it on a movie! If I wasn't an artist, I'd be...

If I wasn't an artist, I'd still be an artist of a different sort.

Throughout my adult life, I've done a lot of different things to earn a "living," and some that were very fulfilling, but the "living" wasn't always so great.

And, I can blame it ALL on a movie!

Cousin, Cousine (1975, French). Directed by Jean Charles Tacchella.

Just so you know, it is incredibly charming and romantic, but that's not the point.

In the film, Ludovic, a main character, talks about his life, his career path [or lack of]...he purposely changed jobs every two years. I don't think this was wise from a financial standpoint, but he was never bored.

He worked on a cruise ship, he was a musician, a dance teacher, etc. This little piece of the plot is a TINY side note... not a main theme of the plot at all. None of the reviews even mention it.

But, this bit really spoke to me, stuck with me, and has affected me since seeing the film...probably in the late 70's. [no, I'm not ADD]

After college, I ended up in retail.

What else do you do with a B.A. in Psychology?

In my spare time, I did needlepoint - and became a needlepoint designer. Art...of a sort. Not for a company, just on my own... but I sold to stores from NY - CA and had a following. It's just incredibly tedious. I stopped doing it because I couldn't keep up with my orders... and I hated to repeat myself!

After slogging around retail in different management areas, I decided to be a display artist. Art...of a sort. I loved it. I love dressing mannequins, designing window and interior displays...

I left that job to become a handbag designer. I did that for a year.

Then I went back to display, changing department stores and moving up the ranks. And started a T-shirt design company. Art of a sort...My designs were hilarious, but I was always under-capitalized and had to back off that, too.

I finally made it to Visual Merchandising management and so naturally,

I left and started my own display company. An art form, a legitimate art form...

My partner and I had a great idea, but we did a lot of satellite projects that were SO MUCH FUN but very confusing to sell as a business niche. We did ALMOST a million dollars in sales the first year.

We did retail visual merchandising, window designs, built props, worked with independent retailers and shopping centers.

We built fixtures and props for big companies.
We designed centerpieces and sets for events... it was all great.

And then the economy tanked.

I got a job. I ran a big department at a hotel chain - including the staging and design dept., retail and floral...not so arty...but I did get to design some BIG events, BIG props and even some floral designs.

So, naturally, I left after a year to work in nonprofit.

At least I kept it creative at the 3 organizations I worked at. Until one day...

I quit [I did give notice] to become an artist...full time... absolutely 100% devoted to being an artist. This is not exactly "out of nowhere," however, I thought people would say "How DARE YOU!!!" - actually, some probably are.

Obviously, I was a kid artist. A teen artist, A college student who forgot to take sculpture and ended up with that B.A. in Psych [I did get the BFA later]. I always, always painted. I did murals, I did custom portraits, I've always had a studio somewhere. Sure, I went to school "for art", but, I didn't go to "art school" or pay attention to HOW to be an artist, and to this day I can say:

"What I know about art is that I don't know anything - except how to make it."

I feel like an outsider [art industry wise], but that is probably my fault. I'm not a joiner.

But I have a vision, talent, and can keep from getting bored by creating something new every day. I'm not changing careers anymore, but I can always change colors!

Rent the movie if you can. You'll see love, death, family...There is sex, there are pastries, it's funny and romantic.

No comments: