I found out on Friday the coffee shop I have worked at since November of 2009 will be closing it's doors for good in less than two weeks. Most of the condolences I have received have been along the lines of "Don't worry; you'll find another job," when, really, that is the least of my concerns.
CoffeeWorks, the place at which I am employed, has been here for twenty years and some of it's customers have been coming here on a consistent basis for most of those two decades. It is those people I feel most sorry for. Telling someone who has been coming to the same place two or three times a week for years that they can't do it anymore...well, it's akin to telling them their dog is going to die, and they go through the same stages of grief. Me, I'll find another job. Those people will have a hard time finding another second home.
Now that I am going to be unemployed, people seem to have all sorts of ideas of what I should do, the main concept being that I should pursue art as a career. I don't think most people actually understand what that entails....
What I imagine they imagine is that I will sit in my well-lit studio each day from sunup to sundown painting beautiful and glorious paintings and selling them off one-by-one with ease. I think they imagine that I'll have gallery openings every weekend in which all of my paintings sell. In truth, I will probably never achieve that kind of success in my art, nor am I sure I want to. Nor can I afford to.
Art, like in any other business, takes money to make money. The way to be successful with my art would probably be to sell giclee prints of my originals, but it costs a lot of money to manufacture prints. I could print them myself, but a printer could enough to do it would cost well over a thousand dollars, without the guarantee I would make the money back. Not that I have that kind of money to begin with. All I can really say at this juncture is, as long as I'm unemployed, I'll be focusing more on my art (and more on cleaning my house).
Another thing is, I'm not sure I want art to be my career. Creating when I want to is one thing. Creating because I have to could very well drive me away from any sort of art-making. I don't enjoy the pressure of needing to be creative. Spontaneity in art is one of my most favorite things. However, going back to the print making, if I could successfully make and sell prints of my work, that might be another story....
So here I stand, at the end of one part of my life and the beginning of another,with a million avenues to go down and no clue as to which path I'll end up on it. For better or worse, though, art shall always be a part of my life.