Monday, March 4, 2013

A thought...........





A thought:

While some of you might know me from facebook, I'm not sure what that exactly means to you. Do you think that I am a successful artist, raking in a lot of money because everyone seems to know who I am?

I'm just going to let everyone know, that as an artist, I don't make a lot of money. No one is rushing to my etsy shoppe to buy my work, not because it isn't worthy, but because in these times, I suppose, they'd rather make it themselves. Times are tough and many artists are struggling. 

And are we artists by choice? Well yes and no. Some of us have chronic illnesses that prevent us working a "real" job. Some of us are caregivers (me) to a severely disabled child. Don't judge us because we are artists. 

So if our art isn't being purchased, then we do what comes next and that is  to "teach it". So we spend a lot of time developing classes that everyone on fb "wants to take". And trust me, this isn't something that just takes a few days. Developing classes takes thought, time, energy, hours on the computer, making samples, taking photos and then submitting the work. It's very tiring. The last set of classes I proposed was over the holidays and I felt that I didn't really get to enjoy the moment of the holidays because I was so preoccupied by keeping up with these deadlines. Then throw in "real" life like mine, where I am a 1/2 a caregiver for a severely disabled child. If he even gets sick for a moment, I can't do anything until he's better. The stress level can get high.

Then we flash forward to the future where those proposed classes for retreats are now online for regisration , but hardly anyone has signed up for them. There is no one to blame. It is a sign of the times. It's easier to take classes online than to travel. I constantly get messages, " can you do this in an ecourse"? It's a frustrating process for an instructor. Some instructors do quite well with their ecourses. But others say they have the trickle in effect of business. It's a difficult choice to make with my very spare precious time to create art. Continue with retreats, mainly go online? After Tucker's last illness (in Oct), I've had this overwhelming urge to just disappear. Would anyone miss me? Would my art be missed? The pressure to keep up with all the current economical factors facing an artist are overwhelming and I am already overwhelmed as it is. 

Just for the record, I'm not raking in the dough. I probably spend more than I make and the hours I spend creating samples for classes, I don't think you couldn't put a dollar sign on it. So what is my point? I'm not sure. Maybe I just want don't want to be so committed to doing my art for the sake of teaching it. I pondered this tonight and I worked on some gifts for some art friends that I will be seeing soon. To me, that is what is gratifying. Creating art for those who I  know will just get it and love it and also reciprocate back to me. I've done more than my  than fair share of giving my art freely ( for some reason, expected of any artist/donations). I've put in my 1000 hours and I work damn hard. I'm not sure there is much more I can do, but in the end, to  decide what makes me happy and shine my art in that direction.

Thanks for listening. As always the direction of an artist is an ongoing journey.

xoxo,

kecia

15 comments:

  1. You have definitely put in your time, hard work, and endless commitment...you would surely be missed..keep doing what u do :) xo Jane

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  2. You would be missed by me.

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  3. I get it. I feel ya. I'm struggling with how far I want to take myself into all of this....being a self employed artist and attempting to make a decent living at it.I watch you and others struggle and it fills me with doubt as to whether I am strong enough to push through and do it. Granted, you and I have very different responsibilities and lives but the struggle is still there.I hope you don't disappear.That would be sad.

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  4. Kecia, Loved reading this,,for so many reasons,I first met you on etsy, I also had a shop there I made jewelry then that evolved to making other things once i saw them, I would say , wow I could do that , spent more money on buying crafts simply because I love making and creating it is therapy for me ,At the time I had my shop life was some what simple,hubby home kids in school,, then four years ago my hubby had a sever stroke, took care of him at home stopped doing crafts took care of him full time for two years, very stressful,,, i placed him in a home Oh and forgot to mention my son signed up to serve in the Army! he is currently in Afganistan , very Proud of him,, I just can't find time to craft, I started doing a Chan Lu Bracelet started and put it down,, well I'm just sending love your way and don't stop doing what you love ,, you are very talented,, just wanted to share a little of me to you,,, take care and Spring is just around the corner,,,love all the flowers and yard work,,,Barbara

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  5. I certainly would miss you if you disappeared. You are one of the first artists that made me want to make mixed media art jewelry. Xoxo

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  6. I only "know" you through Facebook and your artwork and I would miss you if you disappeared. The amount of work, hours and worry that it must take to submit proposals for classes, etc. would be very overwhelming and time consuming and I respect you for doing so, especially with being mother and caretaker to Mr. Tucker (I hope he is doing well). You are an inspiration to me and to many, many others and I hope that you continue to make your gorgeous art and jewelry. You are so talented! :)

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  7. I am afraid only you can answer these questions regarding teaching or not. I know I would miss your presence and friendship online and completely understand your frustration. Its a very tough time "out there" and many folks are unable to travel to retreats and classes. I know I have had to cut back myself. I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you. Hugs

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  8. Being one of your past students in CT I just want to say that you have touched my heart with your art and teachings. As a fellow teacher and artist I know that it's hard sometimes but please keep teaching, keep creating and keep loving what you do. You are an amazing person and have influenced and ignited a spark in so many. Don't give up on us OR you!
    Hugz, Normajean Brevik (Art Is You Retreat 2009 student)

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  9. I think all your hard work is very evident. If I see a piece of your art, I know instantly it is a Kecia creation. You have a such a distinct look! That doesn't happen overnight.

    I know I would love to travel all over the country taking classes, meeting other artists, learning new techniques, etc. Unfortunately, my money and family situation doesn't allow it. (I'm saving my pennies right now to take your class with Lorraine.) Like Michael DeMeng said in his blog a few days ago, art is one of the first things cut when money gets tight.

    Something I always tell my children (and try my hardest to remember) is this life isn't a race. Try not to look around and see what others are doing or where they are. You set your own pace and be the best you can be. Because you are the only person that can make you happy. I WOULD MISS YOU!! xoxo

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  10. I'm sorry you are having these feeling Kecia; not only are they hard to have by themselves, when they are layered among the other stresses of your life, and just recently losing your precious Pepper, I'm sure they are capable of bringing you down and to an end. I hope you can find what you need to do to get a fresh look at your life as an artist, but I would be sad to not see you around. I see you mostly on FB, but have been aware of your work when you were doing a lot of jewelry for the design team with Susan. You have a huge, kind, thoughtful heart (which gets broken far more than the toughies out there)and I enjoy your art tremendously!! The economy is the pits of course, and that keeps me from purchasing almost anything these days, yet, I still love seeing it. But it is your heart that stands out the most for me, and how you include it in your work. Rest for a while if you must, perhaps the Lord is leading you to another path??
    Hugs, Margo

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  11. Hi Kecia, I'm fairly new to reading your blog, what you said today struck a note with me.....I used to teach classes here in the UK and a few years ago I struggled with the same thoughts and feelings about it all.......I wanted to stop but felt I couldn't etc etc. Then my husband took a job overseas and so we moved and I HAD to stop teaching.......I can tell you that for me it was the best thing:) I miss some aspects of it but generally I now LOVE just making art for ME and not having to worry about if it's good enough, what others think of it, will anyone book etc etc. I know I'm lucky I don't have to rely on it for an income but stopping has been the best thing.
    I hope you can resolve your dlemma and feel at peace with it.

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  12. Right up front, first thing...let me say that I would miss you very much!! I would miss you and I would miss your art, and you are an excellent teacher!!! You give so much of yourself in your art and in your workshops and to your family and friends. I think you need a break and some time for yourself. Everyone needs breaks and it's been a long time since you've had one. But ultimately it's something you have to decide. Follow your heart. Big hugs to you, love you bunches!! xoxo Phyllis

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  13. Of course you would be missed. You are a strong presence on line and in person. Classes (online and in person) and art are usually paid for with discretionary money; there isn't as much discretionary money out there as there used to be. You've built up a strong and supportive community around yourself; whatever you decide, they will be with you.

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  14. Hello Kecia,
    I am sad to read your blog today. I would just like to say try not to become disheartened and to keep motivated to do what you love most. Keep creating your art because you love it not because you must or then you will not enjoy it. We all face challenges in our lives and I hope that your challenges that you face become lighter for you. There is such beauty in your art.

    blessings,
    Danielle

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  15. I first discovered you when I came across photos of your studio re-do. I so love your wonderful, colorful and whimsical studio. Since then, I keep an eye on what you are doing and it's probably a great time to tell you I think your work is such a triumph over the heavy lessons that life is pushing your way. I have been a care-giver myself for a long time now. Twenty-four years ago my oldest son broke his neck, and though his care has mostly passed to others, there has been a string of "needy" persons flowing through. At present I am taking care of my 98 year old mother with Alzheimer's. We are tired, discouraged, worried, fearful, angry, frustrated, ...you name it. However, isn't it amazing that the creative spirit rises through all that and blossoms in such fabulous ways. If it weren't for that, I think I would go crazy. Whether or not we can make money off what we create is an entirely different matter. I have seen absurdly priced comparable items and wondered how the artisan gets such enormous prices for what they do. I have seen items I would not give a second look to and see that that craft-ster is raking in tons of sales. I don't know what the formula for successful sales is, but I wish it on all us "starving artists!"

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