Ann Meyer writes about how artists are having success creating and selling works of fine craft. Some of them combine art work with part-time employment; others were laid off or chose to leave full-time jobs. It’s interesting to read about what their expectations are and how it’s working out for them. Meyer quotes one of the artists, jewelry designer Julie Schwanbeck, who says that being laid off from her job was a “blessing in disguise” because it allowed her to pursue her dream of making jewelry. (See her beautiful designs at shopjules.com .)
I always say that, if being an artist was easy, everybody would be doing it. On the other hand, in this time of joblessness, who is better poised to create their own jobs than artists? Artists are creative problem-solvers, scroungers, improvisers. We take advantage of what we call “happy accidents” in our artwork, when a “mistake” leads us down a new and fruitful path. If we apply this flexibility and resourcefulness to the problems of economic survival, we can find ways to support ourselves creatively.
Will we get rich? Probably not. Can we find a measure of economic security? Very possibly, yes. If we learn anything from this recession, perhaps it should be that a life driven by the urge to consume, to be defined by posessions, is not fulfilling, morally uplifting or beneficial to the planet. It undermines our financial security and stability. We can live with less, materially, while expressing the best of our creativity. Read about some artists who are making it work: