Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Get a Day Job, and Marry Well

My daughter, Anna is visiting this week. She is a busy college student who is generously spending some of her fall break with her parents. In spite of my best efforts, she chose not to major in something that would lead to her finding a cure for cancer. She is majoring in art, which is what I got my degree in. My advice to her - "Get a day job, and marry well." She asked if that meant she had to marry someone rich. No, marry someone who will be patient, understanding and happily supportive of the visual creative process that takes so much energy, time, resources and covers every horizontal surface of your home. One advantage of this to the artist's spouse, the possibility of earning sainthood in this life. I asked her to really think about how much of the house has always been taken over because of my involvement in creating and teaching art, and how her dad has not only accepted it, but encouraged and enjoyed it (He really likes it when I use his power tools in my artwork). After a pause she said, "Wow, yeah."
As for the day job - It would be nice if every good artist could make a living creating their best, original art. Unfortunately, good artists rank even lower than good teachers as far as recognition and compensation. But good artists often (not always) make excellent teachers. The practice of visual creation helps in the practice of creation with space, time and people which is essential for effective teaching. I hope Anna will choose to be one. She would be great.
So this week, we are creating art together. She wants to pillage my studio, and I will let her since she is taking a bookbinding class, and since she is willing to let me teach her a few things. That is a rare gift to a parent from a college student. In between all this there is hiking, swimming and biking with her dad. I want her to see that I am not the only one of her parents who married well.

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