Monday, November 24, 2014

An artist's staycation

I have blogged about my day job before. One of the perks of this day job is several weeks of allotted vacation time each year (a bit of a luxury...), and I usually try to fill those vacation days with something exciting, such as taking a trip somewhere. I have to confess, however, that I have not found travel to be as satisfying as I expected it to be. I'm simplifying things of course, but let's just say I decided to try some out-of-the-box thinking for the vacation time I had scheduled earlier this month. Instead of going anywhere at all, I decided to park it and dedicate my time to art, both in the studio and with the business.

After three days of extended weekend rest and normal activities, such as laundry and buying groceries, I rolled up my sleeves and dove into two weeks of living and working like an artist. I tried as best I could to reorient my brain and trick it into believing that this experiment was the real deal. I'm sure I failed at that (how can you really know what it feels like when your safety net is sitting right there, just a few miles away), but it did give me a better idea than any long weekend of "locking myself in the studio" ever could. I never lacked for art-related things to do! Here are just a few of the things that I accomplished during my artist's staycation:

1. Painted my first full gouache painting and sold it immediately.
2. Finished the second and third paintings in my Tus Labios series and then sold all three paintings.
3. Got to spend quality time with my clients when delivering the paintings they bought.
4. Spent more consecutive time in my studio than I have all year.
5. Did the Noto Art Walk in Topeka, Kansas and bought the art bench you see here; I may make it part of my studio!
6. Blogged more than I have all year.
7. Read about artists; researched artists; visited galleries to view the art; talked art any chance I got.
8. Pondered art business and talked about being an entrepreneur with friends who know about these sorts of things...
9. Took a field trip to Lucas, Kansas to see and use the mosaic and ceramic public toilet art installation. (I plan to do a separate blog post about that trip soon.)
10. Met with gallery owners in Lincoln, Kansas and have instructions to send a CD of available work to them. (I plan to write about this adventure as part of the Lucas field trip blog post.)
11. Visited Kansas Originals and bought a few small pieces of art for myself! (I plan to do a separate blog post about those artists soon.)
12. Finally updated my own website.
13. Slept in, relaxed, played my flute, etc.

Overall, it was a great staycation. I realize this was not representative of what it would be like to actually make my living as an artist, but it did allow me to test it out in some form and fashion. Perhaps I'll do it again in six months... Until then, here's hoping I can carve out some studio time...

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