Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Who Does She Think She Is?

I am slipping into my second week of unemployment. I hate that whole notion...that I am "unemployed". My best friend, Julie, keeps reminding me that I am a self-employed artist. And for right now, until I have figured out the future, that's what I am--a self-employed artist! 

It is not easy to write that...I am still sorting out what that means. From time to time, I have identified myself as an artist...but I've also added that I have a day job as a social worker. Somehow it makes me feel more "legit".

Things change. And truth is, being an artist is more the core of who I am. The social worker/"helping others" part is pretty strong too. Honestly, I think my goal is figuring out how to blend the two.

I decided to take Kelly Rae Robert's e-course "Flying Lessons". It is all about learning ways to help build your creative business. This is not stuff they ever taught you in art least not 30 years ago (well, almost 30!).

I will, from time to time, write about topics that come up in the course. We are only a few days in and already it's been quite thought provoking.

Tonight I am sharing 2 movie trailers for a documentary that Kelly clued us in on. The movie is titled "Who Does She Think She Is." It explores the challenges women face as artists, especially artists who are also mothers.

I have watched these short video clips over and over...I just might have to buy the full DVD. (Available on Amazon). Very powerful stuff.

I remember, when our kids were small (some 20+ years ago), Julie and I talking about juggling being a mother and being an artist. Certainly at that time, I had no thought of making a living as an artist. But I always made art.

Sometimes you wonder how these experiences impact your kids. I mean Do they really pay attention? How do they take it all in?  

When they were small, I had no dedicated space for making art. For years, I slept on a futon so I could roll it up and use my bedroom floor to paint... Often times, my art making would spill over on the dining room table. And many times, my kids would work beside me on their own art projects.

Over the years, I've picked up on the little signs that told me it did have some influence on who my kids are now as adults. Neither are really interested in making art. But they pay attention to art. All those trips to art museums...they now will take friends to art shows or even go by themselves. A few years back when I was preparing my studio for my first open studio event, I had the help of both my kids. As my son helped me paint my studio walls, he commented as an old song played on the radio that he remembered me painting to that song. Neither would allow me to sell some of my older paintings, the ones they remembered me painting. And I have held onto them.

On days when I wonder why it is I'm making art, I think I'm going to watch one of these video trailers-- it's sure to get me going.

As one of the artist's children interviewed in the video said (quoting his mother, I believe)--

"Art is always a risk and sometimes it's a risk you just have to take."



pinkglitterfae said...

Risa I hope you are doing ok during your 'unemployed' phase. You know, it may turn out to be the best thing for you. Life is funny, we can't always predict or control where we want it to take us. Kelly's class sounds wonderful, I wanted to take it but it was out of my budget. I think you will get some good information from her, as well as your fellow students.
I know you will figure out how to combine your love of helping others, with your love of art.

WrightStuff said...

Being unemployed was one of the best things that happened to me as I picked up a paintbrush again... Use the time as a gift I say! Nice to meet you (via Kelly's course)

samos said...

hi risa,
just flying over from kelly's class to say hello. i know you're in a transition phase right now, but it will all turn out for the best. i am in the same boat. life. transitions. always. =)
happy painting and have a wonderful day!

Amelia said...

hi there,

I am a fellow flyer and it's lovely reading your thoughts out loud on the subject of mothering and art and what impact that might have had on your kids . . . I am in the thick of parenting and there are times when I think my youngest has had enough or art - ha ha :) and my eldest is now studying it at school and is very talented (more than I ever was!!!!!)

the flying course is very thought-provoking I agree, and I am enjoying it immensely.

Last year (or before) I also lost my work and thought it was time I turned more to what I really love doing and turn it into an income stream (art) the journey just keeps on evolving and it's not easy but I love it so much I don't want to have it any other way. Kelly is sooo right, it takes ultimate commitment.

I wish you luck with your continued art journey and earning from your passions - we will get there! :)


Amelia said...

just realised I've visited and already followed you via a visit (not Kelly's course!) and so I've now said hi twice -ooooh sooo tired but 'hello' (again!):0


kerin rose said...

Hi Risa...

thanks ever so much for visting my blog! :) :) :)...

I really am dying to see this movie too...I am not a mom, but still, the trailer intrigues in that there appears to be a lot of insights as to women and their role in the art world is definitely different, than for men.....


House of Hullabaloo said...

Your writing is inspiring. Loved the video!

When unemployed I prefer to call myself an independent contractor.