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If you hadn't chose to be an artist, what other occupation/profession would you have chosen to be?
As for me, I was a pretty good musician. I was good enough to be on Television, played in a band and orchestra. I was a woodwind man and getting ready to take up the piano because my goal was to be an arranger/composer to support myself. What would you have been?
Harold you look like you would be a great musician, but that too is art. God created you to be an Artist after all.
Myself, my chosen vocation was to be a good wife, mother, now a grandmother and soon to be a great grandmother, that is also a form of creating. In between all that I was a Realtor, but I must say, I do enjoy the art now in my life,
In most of the professions I have been involved in, There was always some sort of creativity either during work or during off hours. When your Landscaping 5 million dollar homes, you need to be artistic...LOL.
But I have been a Crane Operator and Locomotive switch engine operator also... fun fun fun!
Only recently getting serious about photography, I've not made money ... yet! :) But art & creativity are in my blood. Though unemployed at the moment, I've made a living most of my life in the printing industry.
I thoroughly enjoy being creative having done pen & inks (my favorite), pyrography (my second favorite) & rock painting turning rocks into animals. I also had fun designing really cool designs using unusual tie-dye methods. Pyrography was the only thing I made any money at creatively, but found more enjoyment giving away as one-of-a-kind gifts.
I've also been a vampire LOL, working as a phlebotomist in various lab settings in between jobs.
I would restore old buildings. I have done several 18th century houses and currently working on a cool 1947 art deco gas station that will be a state and national historic landmark.
Restoration is still creating and art.....so that may not count. I have found that when I am working on a building I cannot paint in my studio. Both are consuming and only one gets the attention. I wished I could get past that because now I am behind for shows.
My answer is much like Leah. I feel art chose me, or me it but There is not really anything else that's a great enough interest to me, I studied electronics and worked as Technician for 5 year Basically as it was mildly interesting and paid the bills better then any thing I have worked at before or after, but it depends on too much technology, your a slave to it, I prefer the more direct paint and canvas, not because its easy but because I love it and the tools are simple enough to let the emotions flow , not so with digital, I do that too but I am not sure, no let me re phrase that as a Statement. Although I do it well I know its not worth the effort, one grows old jumping through hoops that technology throws at you and one goes broke trying to update. No, I am proud to be a cave painter.
Web designer. Oh wait, I do that. But it's more like a hobby I do for myself, friends, and charities. Art (photography) is where I make my money. But if that ever were to fail me, I'd switch places with my hobby and profession. Both are creative and are kind of like playing with magic.
I wanted to write fiction. In college I majored in fine art and English. Had a highly critical creative writing professor and after a year of him, kind of lost my ability to write freely; I was creatively paralyzed by his critical voice in my head.
I still journal...now blogging...wrote a couple of contest essays (won one of them) and still hope I can give fiction a go someday.
But I love to paint, just started an etsy shop for paintings, prints, and crafts I make and paint, so there isn't much time left over around my day job...admin assistant...definitely NOT what I ever wanted to be but glad to have a job.
When I was in my late 20's I had the opportunity to pursue art but decided on nursing. It was a tough choice for me but I understood what it would take to devote all my time to art. Family came first.
Now I have the time and energy to devote to art and healing ... there is no way to separate the two ... they are intimately connected. After taking art therapy, I realize just how healing it is to self express in art and then explore the meaning behind the expressing.
Marlene ... dancing was a fav of mine when I was young, along with art, music and horseback riding.
Jim ... I often wonder how well I would handle the pressure of being a captain on a star ship and after working the ER for 20 years, I figure I could face just about anything.
I'm doing fine. Healing right on time from what the doctor told me. I've got 6 more weeks of wearing this hard cast beore I find out if the rods inserted in my ankle will hold me up good enough to walk without the use of crutches. The doctor told me that not everyone's bones heal properly so that its not always 100% successful. I will find out in 6 more weeks.
Roseann, it looks like there is a lot of talent on FAA. Yes, I have found out that in the years that I have worked as an artist, I have met a lot of artists who were also singers, musicians and writers. It seems that when you have a creative spirit, it knows no boundaries. Besides being a musician, I am also a writer and architectural designer.
I have always been an artist. For many years I worked in graphic design and can't complain as I did well. I am glad to be off the computer now and back in the studio with my music, oils and brushes. Life is good!
Well, my story is somewhat the reverse. I chose to be a network administrator and have done so for the last 20 years and made pretty decent money at it. Only recently have I come to the conclusion that I want to enjoy what I do and trading my life for a paycheck is not what I want. I'm in the process of radically changing my lifestyle and pursuing my passion and I've never felt so alive!
An innkeeper.. lol.. I know that sounds kind of funny, but I've always wanted to buy an old historic building (with lots of rooms and space and surrounded by beautiful scenery), and restore it to its original beauty, (because I like restoring old things) and ... put in a big @#$ pool, and some riding horses, with hiking trails, that lead to a lake with canoes.. etc etc.. (you get the picture).. hehe.. And I would put in a huge garden.. (all organically grown with herb garden as well) and art studios as well so I can still paint/photograph stuff... and also encourage international artists to visit and paint.... " when" I win the lottery, I am going to do it.. lol..
I like Jim's answer too..... Captain of a starship !! which was my dream when I was little. But...unfortunately you have to be really good at astro physics (which I am not) lol :(
Hal - I'm glad to hear that the healing is on track for you. *hugs* I hope that this all takes as it should and you can walk on your own. I'm pulling for you. :-)
LOL okay, how much do we really have in common? I LOVE architecture. It fascinates me so very much. One of the things that amazes me about New York is that it has some of the oldest architecture in the country, and some of the most contemporary. I have some books on architecture and I took a few classes. I'd love to be able to design my own home. Ideally, I'd like to have Windsor Castle, but something tells me the Queen won't part with that one. So, I'll have to figure out something else. :-) I just bagged an A in my creative writing class. Teacher felt I have potential. I may have to take that poetry workshop I had my eye on.
I'm glad you're a visual artist, Hal. Your works from Star Trek are simply breath-taking to this old geek. I watched it the first time around and I've loved it ever since. I've also had the opportunity to meet each member of the cast and they are such wonderful people, with the possible exception of Mr. Shatner. However, I've been given to understand that he's improved some over the last several years. De Kelly was probably the most genuine and Nichelle Nichols the most fun. I'm not sure if you're aware of this or not, but Leonard Nimoy is a wonderful photographer. One of my close friends was part of his recent project called "Secret Selves." http://www.rmichelson.com/Artist_Pages/Nimoy/pages/Leonard-Nimoy-Gallery.html I went to the opening for that at Mass MoCA and we got to chat for a few. Very nice man.
"Art chose me, I really didn't have a choice. If I wasn't an artist I actually have no idea what I would be doing, I don't have anything else that calls to me"
I'm with Leah. I am a pharamacy technician, just to pay bills, but it is not my calling, can't really even stand it to be honest, and I will definitely not be doing it for the rest of my life. The only thing I can see me doing for the rest of my life is my artwork. It really is who I am. I don't have a choice in that matter, it is what I was born to do. I wish I could do it full time, but it is just not in the cards for me right now. Someday though..sigh..lol
I believe that for some of you, you are only putting your big toe in the water and not jumping in with both feet. I moved 3 states away from my hometown, left more than a couple of good paying jobs in order to open my own business and made some very tough decisions so that I could live the life of a working artist. Being an artist is one of the toughest professions to make a buck from but, as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Have you given art your very best efforts or have you given it minimal efforts because it was hard to make a buck. As I have mentioned many times in the past, I have been an artist all my life and a working artist for over 45 of those years.
On this site, I have mentioned a lot of high points in my career but I could mention just as many low points when I worked as an artist. I never gave up on my dreams and never will. As far as I'm concerned, my best work is yet to come. That's the attitude you must have to make it in the arts. If being an artist was that easy, it wouldn't be as desirable to achieve. When I look back at my long career, I see nothing but hard work and a lot of luck because I put myself in the spots to catch the good luck donuts when they were passed around. On the other hand, maybe it was never in the cards for you to become a full-time artist. Only you can answer that question honestly. The days of an artist living in one small room, painting pictures, then taking them to art shows hoping to be discovered are pretty much over. You have to get out and blow your horn so loud that the walls of Jerico come tumbling down.
Oh I will definitely live my dream of being a full time artist one day. Being an artist has never been an easy pursuit, but I will never give up. Its what I was born to do, and I will get there. I am more than willing to put the work into it because it is all I have ever wanted to do since I was born. I admire the sacrifices you have made Harold, you are an inspiration.
My day job is as a web application developer, and I'm likely not going to give that up. As much as I'd like to be a full time artist, my computer work pays the bills. It also allows my wife and I to travel, which is where I get a lot of my inspiration to paint. Without a solid paycheck, we would not be able to do that. As a result, I'll likely not be able to do art full time until I retire in 20 years. It is a catch 22: I'd like to paint more from our travels, so it would be nice to do that full time, but if I did that, we could not afford to travel.
Hiya David, you are a damn good artist now and I think you underestimate your ability to succeed as a full-time artist. Have you tried putting a portfolio (CD or DVD) together and mailing it to publishing houses such as pocketbook publishers. I feel if you did that you might just find some outlets in the way of commissions for your paintings. Believe me when I tell you that sometimes it's not the talent that wins the day but the determination of the artist to land those commissions that wins the commissions. I have hired many artists to work for me that didn't have your talent. I really feel that what separates the amateurs from the professionals is the stubborn never give in attitude. There are many, many painters here at FAA who have a lot more talent than I have but I would compare my art history with any one of them because of my stubborn, bull headed determination to succeed as an artist.
You could start a series called "Travels With My Brushes" and sell the idea to a company like Rembrandt, Liquitex, or any number of travel ,magazines or possibly a travel agency. There is a photographer here at FAA whom I admire for his travels with his camera and how he records those trips with his lens. His name is Skip Hunt. You could learn a lot from that man. Many of us could take lessons from him. BTW David, working as a web apps. developer is closer than you think to working full time as an artist.
Hiya, Hal. In a past life, I was a professional chef and restaurateur, but it was never a good 'fit' for me.
I'm pictured here, posing in front of a wood-burning, brick-oven as I deftly wield a pizza peel, a baseball cap in place of a toque, pocket-protector filled with such medieval devices as an analog temperature probe and box cutter, desperately trying to look friendly, but professional.
After 25 years in the business, I quit in 1990 and never looked back.
Like Hal and Anne, I'm a classically trained musician, so it follows that I would've chosen a career in music - specifically, film score composer - as a means of finding my bliss.
Writing is another passion for which I have a smokin' desire...and it may be that one day I will get my wish of becoming a published author. Time will tell.
Hal, I appreciate your words about my art. You are one of the finest, most well respected artists here, and if you like my art, I must be on the right track. I will take your advice to heart.
I am relatively new to the art world, in that I have only been oil painting for four years. I did art in high school, but gave it up for twenty years. Only recently did I take it up again. I have ZERO business experience in the art world in that I've never sold a piece. My first public event is coming up in November, the Fall Open Studio Tour here in Tucson. My art career, if you can call it that, is at the beginning.
I could have been many things. As a teen I used to be a drag racer, race engine builder and garage mechanic. Art was a hobby, but not a passion. I used to design cars and buildings. Then the Vietnam war came along and I entered college to avoid the draft, studying architecture.
Along the way, I discovered art and drugs at about the same time and became enamored of the "Bohemian/Hippie" lifestyle. I left Penn State and enrolled in Maryland Institute College of Art, where I found Photography. I dropped out of school when my wife of the moment developed cervical pre-cancer, as someone had to earn some money. A couple of years later, I bought a commercial photography studio, doing mostly advertising work. I became jaded with the people I was dealing with and closed the studio after about ten years, but kept working for selected clients for about ten more years, at which point I gave up photography completely for another ten. I also did design work for about fifteen years, at roughly the same time. Beginning in about 2000, I became a property insurance adjuster; and later, a real estate appraiser, which is what I do to this day.
I picked up the cameras again in about 2003, when Nikon came out with the D100. I still had an extensive Nikon system, so that brand choice was a no-brainer. Since then. I've doing what might loosely be considered art photography, and haven't accepted very many paying shooting jobs.
So, given my past, I have no idea what I'll be doing next year, let alone down the road. Life is certainly an adventure.
Lets see, wanted to always be an artist and went into graphic design because I was told I couldn't make money doing Fine Art, wait until I marry a rich man then retire and do Fine Art. hahaha. Interracially married and neither of us can dance. lol.
On the verge of retirement, I stumbled into what satisfies me the most (besides painting): Helping people help themselves....in the non-profit, public sector.
That's my day job.
My aspirations other than art would include being a horticulturalist, a farmer, horse trainer and involved in equine sports: jockey, Olympic-level rider, an art teacher and a rancher.
Whatever appeals to my nurturing soul, I believe.
If I am not an artist I would be a gardener. I am good with plants and many of my friends always ask me for advices.
In a way, making art and gardening are similar, one works quietly without attracting much attention until you produce something to catch onesí eyes.
Well,,, I suppose if I couldn't be an artist I would want to be a produce clerk in a big grocery chain,,,,,
HEY,,,,, my dream came true! SHOOOOOT! hehehe,,, I am only an artist wannabe at this point. sigh
@David,,, your story sounds hauntingly like mine,,, so much it is scary! Good luck with your Fall Open Studio Tour!! :>)
I'm all boy I tell ya. I'm thinking I was pretty green with envy last time we were in the Dominican and the workers at the resort went around to the mostly, um ehemmm, barely covered women from around the globe and took their drink orders. Swimwear was an option. :) They were VERY good at "not really understanding" and able to lean in a bit closer to .........listen I guess. I would put that career near the top of my list.
I've also been intrigued by being a weather forecaster on TV. They get paid quite well. Also, no matter how bad they get the whole thing really wrong, the boss comes down and tells them at the end of the show "Hey, c'mon back in tomorrow! Ya did real good man, win some-lose some" Thats #2 on my list