Saturday, November 24, 2007

My Career...?

It's been a very hectic past few months, especially since August and September and I'm finally getting around to posting up a few new things and some brief updates. I have to admit, however, that I'm feeling especially guilty for not having been as engaging and active here as I had been until then. I have a great number of fans and supporters and I know that you all will say things like, "You take care of you... and your family..." because you are all so wonderful, but I still feel that in some ways I've disappointed some by not being around so much. (I even got one nasty series of letters from the Corset Fetish Club guy because I wasn't contributing enough.)

That being said, I feel the need to explain a few things and get some feedback from you. My first year in the "art world" was whirlwind and amazing... from being in five different art exhibits with the likes of people such as H.R. Giger, BT Charles, Johnny Flamethrower, Dave Levingston, DVS, Irakly Shanidze, Gary Mitchell, Chris Maher, Adam Owen Layne, Francois Dubeau, Heather Peterman, Lochai, and Carl Oxley III among others to being interviewed and reviewed by Chris St. James for the e-Zine Univers d'Artistes to having collectors from around the world purchase limited edition prints of my art, I am stunned at the success I have enjoyed.

In the meanwhile, my personal life has enjoyed some wonderful things and some heartbreaking things. I have amazing people in my life and I feel truly loved and blessed by having them in my life. I also have a son (who will be five in February... oh my goodness am I getting old) who is the light and darkness of my life. What parent wants to admit that? Few, I would think... but I am not going to lie and say that our life has been easy together... it hasn't. My son has Asperger's Syndrome (a form of Autism) and likely also has something called Oppositional Defiance Disorder or Conduct Disturbance. He and I just started family therapy again and things are improving; he will also be evaluated in just a few short weeks by a Psychiatrist to give us a more accurate and definitive diagnosis (and prognosis, if applicable) as well as an evaluation as to the appropriateness of medicinal aides. I'm really not thrilled about drugging my child, but if anyone knew what it was like for me and for my parents (with whom I've been living with since I started divorce proceedings a year and a half ago) they would likely not believe what they were seeing. At times it is utter chaos and destructive forces and at other times, there are moments of lucidity in which my loving, baby boy is kissing me all over my face.

Sometimes I go to artists' pages and read their blogs and journals and they're all business - only talking about their art, their trade, their careers and their tools. In all honesty, I usually prefer this because most of the time when artists get personal they're ranting or being all emo and pathetic... Part of me fears that this post is the latter. There are other times when understanding what an artist (whether a painter, photographer, writer or musician) is/was going through when they created particular pieces gives those pieces even more meaning within that context - and there are times that I particularly enjoy hearing about what some of my favourite artists are going through, even if it isn't "relevant." I've tried to keep most of my journals all business but right now I cannot...

I'm struggling. I do not have the time to create art. I do not have the resources or the studio that would facilitate things much more easily, either. Money is getting tighter and tighter and opportunities to shoot even more slim because finding a babysitter is sometimes nigh impossible because of my son's challenges. I've been seriously thinking about selling off my camera, accessories and printer and just walking away from the whole thing, but I know in the end I'll probably regret it even if the only thing I ever shoot with it again is my son as he grows up.

I just don't know where to go next with this whole "thing."

I don't know if I should be pimping the hell out of my prints (they do exist - enquire if interested) to sell them and bring in some extra, well-needed monies or if I should be selling my services in private commissions to pay some bills or if I should smile and be grateful for things as they were in a time when I probably needed it the most.

In the midst of all of this, I've been trying to find a full-time job to provide better care for my son but I live in the cursed (and blessed) state of Michigan which has the highest unemployment rate in the entire United States at 7.5% and there's really nothing here for me. I went on a second interview out of state for a dream job and I have a pretty good indication that I will probably be offered the position. I don't know if I can even take it or if it's prudent to do so right now, but something has to change...

There must be a light at the end of the tunnel, right? Where do I go? What do I do? How can I still express myself when I can't really produce the art that I'm feeling? How will I afford the best things in life for my son? If anyone has any answers - which will really be more along the lines of suggestions and criticisms, I'm all ears...