I feel excited to be an artist in Seattle right now. It's a blossoming scene full of highly motivated and forward thinking individuals. Being surrounded by that kind of energy keeps me motivated to make good work, feeds the machine that chews up the inspiration, digests it, and comes up with new, better ideas. When I lived in the country, I was hungry for that variety of raw fuel, to be surrounded by art that makes you humble, makes you think, "damn, I wish I thought of that." It was never enough for me to see it on a screen, or in the pages of a magazine. That would just get me depressed. Only when you witness a piece in person can you feel what the artist really meant. Only then can it change you. You stretch you mind around every possibility. You learn different ways of seeing. Your imagination ignites. You grow. You leave a better person, a better artist, determined to make something great of it.
This weekends excitement was contagious, with all the hullabaloo about the first Seattle Art Fair and all the events that occurred alongside. I mean, if you ever wondered if people here cared about art, all you had to do was walk upon the event center opening night to see the people lined up as far as the eye could see. Not for a new Star Wars, or a Seahawks game, but for art. I mean, I'd wait in that line, any day. I mean, I kind of got emotional about it. Working for two galleries this weekend and seeing the sheer human force that goes into this kind of production, I'm thankful that people give that much of a shit.
Because let me be honest: I waver. For the last ten years I've committed my home to art and artists. I live in a gallery, or rather, I've converted my home into an artspace. It gets old. And for ten years, I have foregone the comforts of a conventional living room or dining room in order to have a place to paint. That gets old too. I have given up financial security and the luxury of a nice wardrobe for buying art supplies. I feel like Raggedy Ann. Yes, that was my choice, and yes I must live with my decision, and no, I don't regret my decision. I work for my passion and currently support myself on art alone. But this month, and many months, I'm still on the "oh shit, how am I going to pay rent and feed myself?" tip. Aren't I too old for that?
At a certain point, it gets old to be hand-to-mouth; all this hoping, working, waiting, working, and hoping some more. Trying not to have raw nerves, trying to stay up, stay strong, stay motivated and optimistic. Life is expensive, and the societal treadmill can move faster than I wanna run. That being said, it is getting easier. You run long enough, you get in shape. You get in good enough shape, you can keep up with the pack.
This time around, I got my runnin shoes on.