well, it's been a while since I have written a post. It's a gloomy day out today, and has been a very busy first half of the day. I am glad to get away for some lunch on my own. I don't usually want to eat alone, but today is different. I've had enough social interaction for the day already, and it's only halfway over.
Makes me want to just sit and draw. It's funny how some people think that is what artists do all day. We like to categorize people as a society. What you do is what you are. That's it. Period. We don't typically see people outside those constraints. Just think of when you run into your boss or teachers outside of work or school. Aren't you thrown off just a bit? Don't you think, even for a split second, "you don't belong here. Something is not right," and sort of panic?
I had a cinversation with a coworker today about how she is fascinated by what people do in their spare time outside their day jobs. "That person isn't just a social worker, they're an artist!" I suppose we assign people these identities because it allows us to place less value on people we interact with every day.
See, if they're "just a teacher" or "just an artist", or "just a banker" we don't have to think of the whole person who has their own needs, ideas, and passions. It allows us to keep focusing on ourselves, what we want, and not let others get in the way. I suppose it is a convenient mechanism that fosters functionality within this society. After all, people tend to devalue others who care about and support others daily. It's a society that functions on indifference, and if you are indifferent enough, you can focus on getting your own needs met.
Think about this...picture an artist. What is that artist doing? What do they look like? What do they smell like? Where do they live? ...unless you've spent time around various artists, and even if you have, it's a good bet that you pictured a thin hipster looking person toiling away in some obscure studio space creating something pretty (likely a painting). And if the artist is a male, would he be gay? Interesting.
The more interesting thing is how this allows you to interact with the artist. Let's think of asking said artist for a commissioned piece. You want this artist to paint you a painting. Oh, that shouldn't be too hard. After all, this artist spends day and night in the studio making pretty pictures. Surely they can whip one out in a day or two. And since they do this all day anyways, it shouldn't be too hard or cost too much.
Oh how far from reality this is! Most artists out there work a day job to make ends meet because art as a profession is a difficult thing. And they likely have other work they are creating. They need time to eat and sleep, and, although they do create on a regular basis, it isn't always a "pretty picture" and rarely is not valued.
I talk about this because of ways people treat artists when commissioning a piece. Agreements are made and work begun. When an artist asks for a portion up front for the commission, it's because that artist needs to recoup some costs of producing the work and buying materials. It's because they need a committment from the client that the next few weeks or so of their lives and work are going to be compensated. And when payment doesn't occur, it is not your right to place any sort of time constraints or stipulations on the artist you showed extreme disrespect to by not living up to a payment arrangement or valuing their work and time.
So, in closing, here's some advice. Respect others. Start seeing other people for the whole person they are. Live up to agreements you make. And, for artists, always always always get a signed contract before starting a commission! I'm hoping that mine will come through, but if not, lesson definitely learned.