People who live wholly by and for their Art fascinate Many of Us. Artists whose work sustains their internal and external lives sometimes seem to have learned A Great Secret or pulled the sword from the stone, a sword Many of Us slip sideways onto the ground trying to budge an inch. People write about them.
I’m going to blog for and about the Many of Us, the Creative Part-Timers.
Have you ever seen how eighteenth-century writers capitalize unexpected Words? It’s great Fun, I tell you.
Just in my own circle in Boston, admittedly the Hub of the Universe, the Many write fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, blogs, children’s books, plays, and art criticism. They are painters, potters, metal artists, jewelry artists, photographers, actors, directors, stage managers, paper artists, musicians, collage artists, glass artists, print-makers, knitters, bakers, curators, teachers, art lovers, and audience members. Yes, I am Blessed. Thank you for noticing.
Why are Many of Us the CPTs? Luck, an answer that cuts both ways, and Life, dear ones. It’s because we have jobs we need and/or love and/or hate, children, partners, elder parents, health issues, and even other passions that need our time. (Did I write much when I had a full-time job and Worked Backstage most nights of the week? No.) This blog is about Being Creative Anyway, managing to do it, managing not to do it, days that feel great, and days that feel futile. It’s also about ways to be Creative part-time, including the everyday thoughts and actions I’m learning to think of as feeding my creative Life. Warhol said, “Art is what you can get away with.” For Part-Timers, any Creativity sometimes feels like what we got away with, as we slipped into one of life’s hidden corners, like the triangle of space behind the red velvety armchair in my grandparents’ front room when I was a child, up against the long drapes: a cave, a secret fort, a dream space, a play space, a space defined by imagination. How do we find those spaces easily enough to make our art our Practice?
And what is Creative? Well, it is that Which Happens when you DO sit your ass down and work at your thing. And it’s editing your long Books For Later list at the Boston Public Library or posting on Facebook (those things Which Happen when you sit your ass down and don’t work). A haiku at the bus stop. Arranging your books, your rocks, your walls. Reading. Dreaming. Watching birds. Your spiritual path and its rituals. Walks. Engaging with other people’s art. Did I mention sitting your ass down, telling everything else to wait, and Getting To what it is you Do?
I hope to fill this blog with observations, lucubrations, frustrations, celebrations and many voices, and with any and all aspects of being a Creative Part-Timer.
To put my personal space where my blog is, I have taken inspiration from the Tiny House movement and founded a Tiny Artists’ Colony in my apartment, offering the folks I mentioned above a place to come work in peace for a few hours. I crack the whip or make the tea, whatever will help. Welcome, and thank you for reading.