I believe that the most creative act an artist can do is figuring out a way to give themselves the opportunity to create. It seems that the majority of my time goes not into making art, but into building and supporting the infrastructure of my creative life. Promoting my art so that people see it, hopefully buy it, and thereby let me make more of it. Acquiring and maintaining the tools I need, and constantly learning how to use them better. Earning enough of a living through my business, without it taking over all of my time. It feels like I’ve spent most of the past couple weeks fixing bugs in my online store, tracking down an elusive networking problem, learning new photographic software, and solving some customer support issues. All while having my 3 year old son often underfoot (he thinks my studio is the best jungle gym), helping with our 6 week old daughter, and tracking down the building inspector for work we are having done on our house. Whew!
It makes me laugh how inaccurate the Hollywood image of an working artist is: toiling in his studio, alone with his muse, free from the cares of the outside world. Ha! However, I’m not complaining. In fact, I love it. I want a creative life, and that means I need to create a life that lets me be creative. (Say that three times fast.) In fact, some of the most fun I have is building this infrastructure. I spent this past January learning how to program a shopping cart for my online store, and had a blast. Seriously! It can be frustrating at times, but that’s part of the bargain. All of this extra work might take away from my time to make art, but I know without it I wouldn’t have the opportunity to make art.