Friday, September 04, 2009

That Said...

Steve Fellner had a great post about Random Thoughts about Being Class & Being an Artist

I thought I'd add a few thoughts to it--

When I was working a corporate job in my late twenties and finally earning the $$$ I had always hoped to, I was miserable. I found an old videotape of my husband and I in our first place together. We had no furniture, 1 dog, 1 cat, and little money. For Christmas ornaments, we raided a 25 cent machine and put hooks on the plastic dinosaurs toys that came out.

When I watched that videotape of myself I started crying. When my husband asked why I said, "The girl in the video looks so happy." She was.

It was then I realized that for the first time in my life that $$ didn't = happiness.

* * *

That said, I don't romanticize poverty. It's not fun if you can't afford to eat or are cold. It's not fun not knowing how you will pay your bills or make rent. It is not fun hoping nothing happens to your car, body, teeth, home, life, because if it happens you have no idea how you'll pay for it.

* * *

That said, having to be creative with money can be satisfying...if you're not hungry or cold.

When you don't have an unlimited amount of $$ to spend, it makes you live more consciously and more intentionally.

* * *

That said, I think you can be an artist and wealthy. I don't think they are mutually exclusive.

* * *

I have always believed Forrest Gump's idea that a person only needs so much money and the rest is for showing off.

* * *

That said, sometimes I'd like to be a show off.

* * *

Last night we bought hummus, greens, baby arugula, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, a bottle of red wine and picked basil from our garden and while having dinner, I felt rich.

I might have even said, "I like our life."

* * *

I think sometimes being an artist is about finding the richness around you. Museums make me feel rich as do libraries. Walking through a garden does too or buying the better chocolate, and the wine that is $2 more. Small gifts, I guess.

* * *

Mostly though, we need to be warm and to be able to afford food for anything to feel right. At least that's how it works for me. If I'm cold and hungry, I'm not much of an artist.

* * *

Sometimes I lose my way as an artist and have to refocus on who I am authentically. I am not my khakis, but sometimes I forget that.

* * *

It can be hard when we live in a world of commercials and product placement.

* * *

Other artists make me feel rich and help refocus me when I get lost in the maze of want. It's time to read the Circle of Simplicity again. It's time to remember why I'm here, what matters, and who I am.

* *


  1. This is an amazing post. Written so beautifully.

    The relationship between money and the artist will always be a foggy one, I believe. At least for me.

    One thing I wanted to add. I've read a few biographies of exceptional, artists of genius, who were really poor, to the point of hunger and cold. They made money only from their art, they wrote while cold, hungry and for the money, and still they made unimaginable art. Their souls were not consumed by the need for money. I am always in awe of the beauty and complexity of human nature.

  2. Thanks for this post. I have written my own take on the subject.

    Being poor financially does put a drain and strain on everyday living. That being said, I think artists choose to see the details in the world where others let them go by. That's what makes us rich in spirit.

  3. Lori,

    Thanks! And yes, good points about the artists who continue to follow their passion even in the worst of times.

    It is something I wonder about myself. If I was on the brink, would I create? I think the answer is yes, but I also know about myself that these are the two essentials I need, but as I think about it, maybe art is the 3rd.

    I appreciate your thoughts.


    I agree with art making us rich in spirit, and when you're rich in spirit, you don't need a lot of the extras the world tries to sell us as we realize, we have it all.

    Thanks for your note.

  4. Love this post ! I've been trying in my 30's to find the balance, to enjoy less is more. Next week my focus will be on less money spent in food :)


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