The weeks..(yes, I said weeks)… of fifty plus flamingos has finally been delivered! Have you ever had a job in your life that simply makes you crazy? Something that seems so simple turns into an elephant on your chest at every turn? I felt as though my feet were stuck in mud sucking the life out of me. It made me grouchy, which made Bob grouchy. In the middle of the flock I swore I would NEVER do this kind of work again!
Then we made the delivery. The decorator loved it. She love it so much that she said it was “perfect”…no corrections, additions or color changes. She told me I had a “Warhol” style… and as quick as that it felt like those grueling weeks weren’t so bad after all.
So what did I learn from this experience? (I’ve traveled this road before). I recognize three trains of thought in the work that I do. One….you create your own works of art exactly the way you want to on canvas or furniture and put it out there for sale through art shows, galleries or on-line. Maybe it will sell…maybe it won’t.
Two…you do commissioned work…working directly with the clients..creating works of art that enhance people’s lives and their homes. They value your opinions and are open to possibilities. The best thing of all is they are always full of joy when the job is complete and they always pay upon delivery.
Three…working with an interior designer. They have their own artistic vision: therefore, you must stifle your own creativity and paint it the way they see it. Unfortunately and fortunately…number three has been the most lucrative for me by far. So why am I complaining? The biggest problem is I feel a sense of loss of my own creative voice. Yes, I painted it, but it was created by someone else’s vision. For awhile I was teased into thinking that I would be allowed to paint it in my “style” but in my heart I knew that I should just shut up and paint it the way they wanted it in the first place. So that’s exactly what I did.
I will probably try the decorator deal one more time. The money is fantastic and I think I have decorators figured out. Once you have them figured out you know what to expect and know how to feel when they tell you to change something or to just do it their way. My dad always told me I was too emotional and as an adult I have tried to temper that and not get my feelings hurt by trivial things. The other side of the coin is being emotional is what drives art; but there is a fine line between making great money and being a starving artist. We’ll see what the future brings.