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artist's life

its frustrating at times living this life.  being an artist.  needing and wanting much time alone clashes with needing and wanting what i deem quality time with people (which in and of itself is also a challenge).  needing and wanting my art to be seen and to sell so i have psychic space and real space so that i can make more, not to mention paying bills and earning my keep.

i spend most of my time alone.  its easier in some ways than it used to be.  i'm more comfortable with who i am and enjoy working uninterrupted.  its harder because i AM more comfortable with who i am and wish i had someone to hang with that had an interest in scrap/found objects/art as well as the TIME to find it.  i dearly miss walking with tod looking for little shits on the ground that make up my flowers.  i usually go looking every day if i can, it takes a constant vigilance combing the streets for morsels of bright plastic that can be used with otherwise 'dark' rusty objects.  the tiniest most messed up bits that even i question, usually turn out to be the most fun to add in the center of my flowers. colored objects, for sure a rarity amongst the black rubber auto parts and silver or brown (rusted) washers and nuts that typically dot the roadside.  lately i've been making  more colorful blooms from found rubber and plastic, not for any particular reason other than its what i'm finding out there so its what i use.

and i've been more quiet.  i've taken a break from my facebook personal page the last coupla months because it felt like i spent more time being triggered by my own judging of others as well as my self. to me, there is something unnatural about it.  the snippets.  the blips that probably oughta really be just lived and let go of.  but thats judging too aint it. who can know why we do what we do or say what we say. or what that does for another....and as for the fan page, it gets used here and there but lately i'm not too convinced it matters to anyone if i post my art there.  seems i get more attention when i post a picture of materials i found or just something that catches my eye.  i can only do what i do and hope it's enough to get me through another day.

...and blogging feels dead... i have no outlet that feels satisfying anymore. not that i ever got that many hits or comments in the past but the last year or so it feels like i'm talking to myself here.  i dont blame anyone, as even i can't even stand reading blogs anymore.  i dont have the interest or patience(?) to absorb other people's lives the way that i used to.  and i think i'm a bit boring if you want to know the truth.  i have no big news.  no big dramas.  i've been pretty content working on flowers that i dont even post or load to etsy anymore.  they arent really selling like they used to.  nothing is right now.  it is a little disconcerting.  there is a correlation with sales dying and postage prices being jacked up + etsy changes at the beginning of the year but i know other artists online who are selling like hotcakes right now.  so does my work suck now?  am i a has been?  does anyone care what i make? what am i doing? i do know that in the real world, the few times anyone comes to my place i do tend to sell art.  heck 3 weeks ago i was out taking pictures of my flowers and someone bought 5 and a vase in a split second!  what do i do...load up my car and sit in a parking lot melting with the asphalt? mmmmmmm????  i dont really have time for that.  or the set up.  or the desire.  i loved selling stuff on etsy.  it works for my lifestyle.  but it isnt what it used to be right now and i have no idea what i'm supposed to do.  i've tried a few things this year to no avail.  i dont know where i belong in the art world right now.  galleries dont seem to be right for me or me for them.  retail isnt right.  were it not for the few people here and there who pop up out of the blue and who let me know they totally dig what i'm doing i think i would have dried up emotionally.  i've been blessed in so many ways since becoming an artist in 2004.  i've had support and help.  i've made friends.  somehow i get a handful of collectors each year who buy just enough art to keep me from being destitute.  they drift away and then a few more come along.  every time i'm convinced no one will ever buy anything again, someone comes along at the last minute and gobbles a handful of things up.  thank the art gods is all i haffta say. 

so.  i sit.  i work (i can't stop making flowers right now).  i watch.  i wait. i wonder. i worry. i withdraw.  and i try to stay awake.  i used to have a clear pull to do this or that.  like smoke rising from a fire, i used to see the signal as to where to go next.  what to try.  i aint got nothing right now.  not a thing. not a clue.  interesting how sometimes in life so much appears to be happening and other times you feel like you are in some cesspool that is disconnected from the river.  you watch it all flowing by but arent able to get back into the stream.  you have to just be.  mind your own business and keep working.  i guess.  what do i know.  life is the most un-understandable experience there is.  you can't think your way through it.  you have to rely on senses that you dont really even know you have.  you have to intuit.  well...ya dont haffta but it helps if you can just trust that life is going to do what it is going to do and be ready for the rapids and cesspools.  sooner or later you'll hit them both, sometimes quite often.  hopefully they dont kill you.


Carla Trujillo said…
Hey Paula,

I think there is a lot of stauling for several artist on Etsy. It has just become too saturated with artist. Sometimes you wonder if having a link to Etsy is such a great thing, because once you get someone over there you loose them to all the other stuff listed on there. You might want to think of having a separate shop from Etsy. Your work is good and stands out it just needs to be independent from all the rest. Also check out Flickr. It's mainly for posting your photos but a great networking place.
Martha C. Hall said…
I'm reading, Paula, and I'm interested. Don't leave us completely!
Anonymous said…
It sounds like you've found yourself in a good old-fashioned "FUNK". Seems like it happens every few months to me. I let myself get too involved in facebook and find myself doing the same things you talked about...reacting to the provocations others put out...then I'm unhappy with me, with them, with everything. Stepping back and just breathing sounds good. I'm here reading too, and I like seeing your art and your finds. I've been in a funk of my own too, so I've not been commenting or communicating much to anyone. Time to kick myself in the ass and get back to work. Time to put some good energy out there so the Universe returns the favor. :-) Hang in there dear lady. I know that things will take a turn for the better for you soon.
Kim Hambric said…
Glad to hear from you Paula. Our worlds seem to parallel quite often. I know our worlds are pretty different some times, but our feelings about our own art of more often similar than different. Right now, I still feel "other world" in new new city and both of my parents gone. Unmoored. Art sales?!? Ha!!!!! I'm just doing stuff. Right now I'm not thinking about marketing and pushing and blah blah blah. Now is just the time to make.

Keep on making. You know we're all behind you.
paula said…

yes carla...i've been on flickr and tumblr and pinterest. thanks though.
and thanks for taking the time to read and comment my friends!
Annie Coe said…

I have never been here before, but saw you on Artpropelled's sidebar.
I relate to every word here and I am in the same spot. I feel very stuck when it comes to selling my work.
I still have to work part time, and I have been painting for 37 years.
Good luck and many sales to you in the future. xoxo
paula said…
thanks annie....we all get through life with help in many ways. i hope you get a boost too!
Marie Danti said…
making art is and has always been a solitary endeavor...while the internet appears to make a gathering of like minded souls a possibility, the truth is often that it is a temptation to the easy and convenient. That visual images are now so saturated makes for a competition that saps the creative soul. I don't think it is all necessarily "bad", it is just hard to determine where to go and how it will all end up.
ArtPropelled said…
I was just thinking, I haven't seen Paula in a while when your post popped up. Please keep posting! Industrial Bloom is looking really good !! It's a mystery to me that your art isn't flying out the shop.
paula said…
true marie...but that doesnt help me hahaha
robyn, thanks for your words. it IS a mystery. other artists are selling so it has to be ME. :(
Good to see you Paula! Your words are ones I am hearing just about everywhere from artists lately. It seems that art, like just about anything else, is one more thing that has been out of the budget for most people. Glad your able to sell a few things. Understand the frustration to want/need to make something and then want it to sell. I am forever thankful for the day job that keeps me afloat. Much as I would dearly love to retire and just make art..
paula said…
well karen..thats the thing i do know several artists who are selling like hotcakes on etsy! thats part of why i wrote this. i'm just clueless why i am not selling anymore!
Hey Paula! Just came across your post--I'm not reading blogs or facebooking much anymore either. Making is probably the best thing to be doing right now, along with having faith that sales will pick up for everyone at some point. I'm trying hard to do both.

From other comments and your post, I see I'm not alone in feeling like the online art social world can divert inspiration from the creative soul. Being an artist is mainly solitary, that's why it's so important to us that people want and "get" our work--we have to connect! Glad you are well :)
paula said…
you get it deborah :) thank you. it is the connections and that people want and 'get' our work. its terribly important to me!
appreciate you :)

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