My undergraduate art degree simply did not include power tools 101. But an artists-as-entrepreneur learns what every other kind of entrepreneur learns. Sometimes you’ve just got to do what needs to be done. Today, it’s sanding and painting frames. Not creative. But part of the process. And, as a change from my usual artmaking routine, a very pleasing task.
If you ever review a resume and see “independent studio artist” as part of the work experience, this should go in the “plus” column. Studio artists need to be problem-solvers. We need to be self-motivated and self-directed. We need to work under deadlines. We need to balance long-term projects with immediate concerns. We take pride in our work. We have, almost always, experienced failure, and learned from it. We need to understand budgets and product pricing. We need to be good researchers, studying art history, contemporary trends, materials, our competitors, gallery opportunities and sometimes even glue adhesion properties. Many student artists are both right-brainers and left-brainers: envisioning and creating the product, and then doing the marketing, bookkeeping and inventory associated with it.
Like most stereotypes, “artist-as-flighty-snowflake” is a myth. We work hard at what we do.
And, of course, sometimes we get to play with power tools!