It’s just art, it ain’t body parts

Warning: This post defies ANY and ALL advice I’ve read about how to handle the recession with grace and confidence.

saleonallbodyparts

Funny photo by Richard Seaman

This is an artist’s blog, an emotional one, about that place “where art meets the heart.” So, in the spirit of the 70s, where my heart still lies, I have decided to “let it all hang out.” What is life if we can’t talk to our friends openly, right?

To start out, I’d like to share what I’ve been reading from online artists about art and the recession. To avoid having to provide links, I’m paraphrasing and generalizing:

  • It’ll blow over
  • I quit
  • Don’t panic
  • I’m panicking
  • I’m purposely stopping all sales right now, preferring to form a collection of paintings to debut when the economy gets stronger
  • I’m making less expensive items
  • I’m putting all my art on ebay, and taking what I can get for it
  • I’m trying get a part time/full time job for now
  • Hey, some people are still selling lots of stuff! No fair
  • Yay, I sold another item today! I can do this, just need to try harder, do more, run in circles, join a drum circle, call on the gods

This is how I’m reacting to the recession:

  • It’ll blow over
  • I quit
  • Don’t panic
  • I’m panicking
  • I’m purposely stopping all sales right now, preferring to form a collection to debut when the economy gets stronger
  • I’m making less expensive items
  • I’m putting all my art on ebay, and taking what I can get for it
  • I’m trying get a part time/full time job for now
  • Hey, some people are still selling lots of stuff! No fair!
  • Yay, I sold another item today! I can do this, just need to try harder, do more, run in circles, join a drum circle, call on the gods

But what do you do if your outgo is about to exceed your income (thanks Arnold, for soaking Californians when we can least afford it), art sales are way down, and you live in an area with 14% unemployment and no professional jobs to boot?

I mean, what do you do? Do you…

  • sell off possessions? yep
  • cut all unnecessary expenses? yep
  • stop watering the lawn, turn down the heat, turn off lights? yes, of course
  • stop driving unless you absolutely have to go out? a no brainer

Then what? You get a job. ugh. I’ve always had a job, in a small town, in the Mojave desert. I’ve slopped burritos and hot dogs (twice), pumped gas, staffed a grill-your-own-steak-and-salad-bar, sold Fuller Brush door to door and merchant discount coupon books over the phone, stuffed newspapers, cleaned houses, raised two daughters, babysat, and a few times in high school I begged for quarters with my girlfriend for money for concert tickets (but that’s not a job, unless you do it 9 to 5 like the guy on my corner).

After college I did a little freelance oil portraiture, couple of illustration gigs, worked as a technical illustrator for NASA and spent 18 years as a graphic designer for municipal government. I retired early in 2005 for a few good reasons. My art degree is worth about squat. 300 teachers laid off in my area alone this year. Design jobs now require that you be an artist, a web guru and an IT expert. My education is obsolete. After having had a successful career in art, “You’ll never make a living in art” has never rang more true.

I’m not the only profession to get the shaft in the recession. I hear massage therapists, hairstylists, tax preparers (thanks Turbotax) and anyone who provides a service that “people can do without if they really have to” are suffering client loss. We can’t all go to work at Chili’s. Oh, people aren’t eating out as much either so layoffs there too. Hmm.

Here’s the good news!

If you’ve ever wanted to own a Diana Maus original, now is the time! Prices are slashed! We’ll call it my White Flag Sale 🙂

(sorry…sale prices have expired/edited 6.29.10)

Volcano Love Song
Volcano Love Song
"...Volcano" detail
"...Volcano" detail
The Choice
The Choice
Losing Heart detail
Losing Heart detail
"Heart's Escape"
"Heart's Escape"
Thief of Hearts detail
Thief of Hearts detail
"Dreams Heal" detail
"Dreams Heal" detail
You've Got Heart
You've Got Heart

My Etsy store

Prints, cards and Tshirts at RedBubble

Stop by and say hi…

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4 thoughts on “It’s just art, it ain’t body parts

  1. Hi MM,

    Had to chuckle at your post – in a familiar yes; I’ve heard it too, kind of way. Your work is unique and quite interesting! Hopefully we all find a little something to carry us through to the next chapter. Good luck with your book, from the posts I’ve read on your blog, looks like you have got the knack for writing too!

    Hang in there.

  2. Hey, great site you have there! I love your paintings. Unique style. Ans since I love curlicues and scrabble, I like Paper Curl II and Thanks.

    Thanks for reading, and for the encouragement!

  3. Oh my god, diana. Reading your post made me so happy. so happy! I know, it’s about sucky things but you tell them so beautifully and with humor and I always have room in my pocket for those. So, from one massage therapist-writer (did I just call myself that?!) to you, beautiful artist, cheerio!

  4. Heidi! Thanks for coming! I’m happy too… that you enjoy my writing. I should say the humor is accidental. It’s the Irish in me, a determined, there’s-nothing-left-to-do-now-but-laugh gene that runs in my family. How I wish I could still afford massage, ahhh. Yours is the best medicine.

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