i was lucky that a few years ago when i was making art i still had some savings, lived rent free as i care took in a home and the economy hadn't dived into the ditch. plus i was actually making money selling art! all of that has changed. my $$ tank is on E. i've moved and have rejoined the renters world and my art is taking longer to sell in this economy and new surroundings. the obvious answer is a real job (we all know art isn't a real job right). so i have my new part time job cleaning vacated apartments which i should be grateful for seeing as there aren't many jobs i can find let alone perform. i still need help understanding how i will ever get anywhere. i have no energy to make art right after cleaning and if all i do is work, i think if i'm lucky in a year or two i could have money saved and make art again full time. i dont see myself living like that. i just dont. i'm not that patient and i go nuts if i dont make art.
it's been a possibility since we moved here that we would scoop up a remaining plot of land for $8,500. thats right, not 85,000 but eight thousand, and build our own house. since we came here to work/volunteer, get involved with the phoenix commotion dan has offered this land to us. it's taken us nearly seven months to figure out if we want to do it, if we CAN do it and if we should do it. it seems daunting and exciting. right now some other people from the phoenix commotion are just now starting to build on the plot next to where we would. a mom and a son. he is out there in 95 degree humid weather digging holes in the ground by hand. i wonder if i can do that. the good news is we would have help, there are always volunteers coming and going willing to work hard just to learn and get experience. technically we could build this in 6 months if we hauled ass.
the miracle of it all is that tod went to the bank and we actually have a CHANCE at getting a loan. i guess this is one case of where poverty is useful. the whole point of the dan phillips houses are to aide poor people in getting their own home. with tod's remaining savings and current min. wage job for dan, and my scanty art sales and now cleaning income, we have a good chance of getting the 30-35K loan we need. thats all we need. that buys the land and whatever supplies/mentoring time we are going to need. much of the material for our 450-550 sq foot print will be free, offered via donations to the phoenix commotion, plus whatever we find ourselves through the re-store (which is run by the habitat for humanity). we probably aren't going to make this a typical looking dan house...none of the mosaic and all the whistles and bells. we need a frickin house up YESTERDAY. if we can get in there, the payments will be, with tax, under $400. that is $200 EACH. we are good at not wasting energy, our last energy bill was $26 and we are in a 900 sq foot apartment. i know we can do this if we can do this. tod knows it too. right off the bat we wont be able to build a studio for me so i kind of feel like i'm going to stop being an artist and disappear but tod assures me we will find a way somehow. the goal is get it up and done and move in and cut costs. we will live in a tiny house, hopefully two stories, but it will be ours. hopefully after that is done we get another loan for under 10K from our equity and build an art studio. we dont want grass/landscaping and would have just enough room on this small plot to build a place for me to work. it is unimaginable not having studio space or making art but the way it is now life as we know it can't go on much longer if we dont make some drastic changes. if we DONT do this the alternative is move to another smaller apartment and i wont have space anyhow so why not go for it and have an affordable mortgage instead of pissing away rent? moving to another city where there are more jobs would just mean working all the time to pay for rent forget about space and time to work on art. i'm not NOT going to make art and survive. i'm just not. but realistically speaking, i don't really know what i am or am not going do to. no one does.
i am open to any suggestions anyone has per a creative way to get art selling online to help procure $$ for this venture. it's not 100% we are getting the loan but the more money we can come up with now the better. as it is we need to have 20% up front which tod has in savings but i want to be half owner with tod and need to come up with $4000. i say 'we' can get the loan and 'we' can do this but unless i can pay for at least half of the land i'm really just along for the ride and will have no ownership. he needs my income to secure this loan. seeing as our mortage wouldn't start until we were done building and moved in, it feels like a once in a lifetime chance here to get a leg up and not be in the rent ratrace forever. i really want to do this and gain some independence once and for all. the cost of living is so low here, once we move in and lower our bills i know i would have time for art even if i had to work a part time job. feels exciting to think of eventually having my own studio and living next to a few other artists. an artist already lives across the street in a phoenix commotion house, and those people who just started building are both artists too. it could be a really cool little supportive community and a good enzyme for huntsville!