Like most artists, I have always dreamt of being able to focus most of my time and energy on my artwork. For many years, I have been balancing my studio time with my personal life, with moderate success. I began to ask myself, what goals could I achieve if I really focused on the business side of my art career and took the leap to be a full-time artist? What are my goals? Where do I start? I decided to start by looking at the twist and turns of my career thus far...
When I was working towards my BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I never thought about how I would survive once I graduated, it was all about making art, not about business. So when I moved to Dayton, OH, 18 years ago, I was lost. Even with degree in hand, I did not feel confident about relying on my artwork to pay the bills.
Desperate, I turned to my boyfriend (now husband), who was teaching courses in graphic design and video, and he brought home classwork for me to study. Although I did not have a lot of computer experience, I took to it fairly easily, and thus began my career as a graphic designer. During that time, I made decent money and acquired skills that still benefit me to this day. The only problem, I was miserable. I hated being chained to a computer 40 hours a week and the carpel tunnel I developed while wood carving at school was worse than ever. I needed to start making moves to get out of that career path, so I began working towards my Masters in the Humanities at Wright State University. The day after my graduation party, there was an ad in the paper for the Adult Art Coordinator position at the Rosewood Arts Centre, Masters preferred.
A position in art administration was better than graphic design. There was more variety and I was able to work with other artists, which was very educational and rewarding. After a couple years, the position in the Rosewood Gallery opened up and I became the Gallery Coordinator. I had interned at several galleries while I attended school, so I knew the basics of maintaining that sort of space. Installing shows at Rosewood Gallery quickly became a passion of mine and people responded with praise. In the gallery, I was able to meet artists with different career paths, some who also worked in art administration, many were teachers and some were full-time artists. I learned something from each of them, either what to do or not to do in art. For almost a decade I worked in the gallery, but as time went on I found my mind remained in the studio even after my body was at work. I was no longer focused on the gallery work and I was starting to feel like it was time to take the information I had collected over the years and follow my dream. So for my 40th birthday, I “retired” to give my artwork and my art career my full attention.
My first goal is to start a weekly blog were I will chronicle my ups and downs, inspirations, lessons I have learned in my different career paths and, of course, my artwork. Having an art career is much more than making art. I have not figured it all out, but I have acquired a lot of knowledge and I want to share that with others as I continue to learn from them. I look forward to comments, questions and topic suggestions as I take on this new adventure. I plan to have comments enabled on my new website, but until then, feel free to