"Mom, there is no such things as a starving artist these days."
I had many ideas and plans swimming in my head during the whirlwind preparation for a move to Portland. It was a whirlwind, because it all happened very fast. As if it were a fate, as soon as I made up my mind to move, things started lining up and working themselves out — the apartment, the money, a good friend who could make the time to help out (In the middle of the holiday season with some family tragedy of her own to deal with! A truly good friend indeed!) — all in a matter of one month.
What am i going to do? What am I going to do in Portland? I kept asking myself. After the consecutive big losses in the past three years, I needed a new beginning, a clean slate. No, after the undoing of the immigration that left me stranded in a deep psychological hole for many years, it was important for me to finally gain a clear sense of command over my life. Live this thing the way I want. Or maybe it's the mid-life crisis. There, I said it. It's such a strange word "mid-life." Just not used to it.
Whatever it was, added to that was the endless summers in California — the one-note-climate that seemed to have dried up my spirit the way it has dried up the green hills to brown. I was done with them. I had been done for a long time, actually.
I'm going to do art. I'm going to paint. I'm going to make things with my own hands and sell them. No mom, there is no such thing as a starving artist these days. We have the internet. We can promote ourselves, sell our arts on the world wide web. If Van Gogh had the access to the internet and was a blogger like many artists are these days, his website would literally glow from the plethora of golden images from Arles in the gorgeous Mediterranean light, his readers would visit obsessively to find out what would finally happen between him and Gauguin, and his post about the mutilated ear would definitely go viral. The world would flock to his door to see his work. His paintings from his online shop would be selling out faster than he can post a new piece. He would not die an untimely tragic death in a bitter and lonely psychological turmoil, broke and starving.
So went my thoughts and my argument as my poor mom couldn't let go of her deep worries for me or just couldn't let go of me — the first in the family to leave California since we moved from Seoul.
Well, I'm here in Portland, I've been here for almost three months and I have to admit, this is a daunting task. To make the matter worse, my bread and butter client company is particularly slow this year in coming out of the lull from the winter season. I'm not starving yet, but I'm beginning to wonder about my bold statement. Makes me laugh.
It is difficult, because I have to handle everything on my own. I really wish I had an assistant, a coworker or a business partner, or just somebody to call over to my desk and ask something as simple as if they thought the logo on my layout was too small. I love and enjoy losing the track of time in creative tasks, but that comes with a high cost of later logging many hours into the night to catch up on logistics of running my humble business. I wonder if Van Gogh would have been any good at administrative stuff. Am I boring you with this? Are you still with me?
It took a while for me to get back to blogging, didn't it? Thanks for keep coming back. I'd look at the unchanged daily stats for my blog and cringe for guilt. I should be able to log more regularly from here on out. I'm also working on my ecommerce site that will function independently of etsy, which is one of the reasons why my blog took so long to reset. A lot of load to pull here. And I'm just one person, though I'm hopeful that it will change soon.
On a random note, I'm also trying to rearrange my schedule so I can fit in some group running — Portland is a runners' city.
Do you remember that U2 song? How does it go? "Sunrise like a nosebleed, Your head hurts and you can't breathe, You've been tryin' to throw your arms around the world. How far you gonna go? Before you lose your way back home, You've been tryin' to throw your arms around the world." I feel like that these days. From about five in the morning until well past midnight.
I'm doing my utmost best. I go through many ups and downs through out a week, but here's the thing about trying to build your life on your own terms with your two hands: I wake up grateful and go to bed with a big smile on my face. I hope the tides will turn soon. In other words, I hope I don't starve. Haha!