I had a business meeting the other day. I printed out a cv and had to root about in the inards of my computer and in every box and every pile of stock trying to find things that would be relevant to show them. My life is very odd, I don’t have a penny to my name and I live in abject fear of being homeless again ( and I really don’t recommend it as a life choice) or my computer dying and in technological terms it is positively ancient, but at the same time as I scramble around for metaphorical loose change behind the sofa I also seem to have developed a bit of a cult following. It’s laughable really, I’ve been tracked down three times this year to do stuff (and not because I owe them money or such) and last week someone with a straight face refered to me as a genius. Prolific yes genius certainly not, unless you are counting my uncanny ability to not earn money. I don’t want much, although I have developed a real desire of late to see far away places, Tokyo, Kyoto, New York, Barcelona, Paris again, somewhere with northern lights… But since I can barely afford to get to Brighton I shall leave that on the back burner. What I really need is more energy money, seed money for the five other t shirt designs I have ready to roll, fees for a few high profile gallery shows, a new computer with a big screen to compensate for my failing eyesight, 3D rendering software and the training to use it, a 3D printer… Then I start daydreaming about having staff, an intern to do the annoying bits and bobs, a salesperson / agent. Where do you stop though? Last week I stumped up £180 for an a3 scanner, not a huge sum to most people but to me it has taken the financial stars to align and monies from sales, teaching and a commission to all land home at the same time to be able to afford it. It’s necessity in turn was brought about by my need to switch from colour canvas’ and acrylic paint to pen on paper. The resultant change in style has received some good responses and has thrown up interesting new challenges and solutions but left me with the scanning issue and a major framing problem to creep up on me in September when my next show is.
I spend a lot of my time trying not to have a meltdown with the logistics of it all. Right now, in my head, I am juggling the thoughts of when to stretch some paper for some watercolour ideas as it is so cold that the ambient room temperature will stop it drying correctly, whether I can put off doing the last three month’s book keeping for another day or to start processing images to get things made up for a new stockist. What I really want to do is draw a giant octopus bursting out from inside of the sealife centre and yanking stuff out of the shipwreck museum next door or maybe drawing the eccentric cottage filled with gnomes and tea pots on the outskirts of the town. Oh! And I’ve a film to edit! All on no money.
I think I have said before how I envy the likes of Takashi Murakami or Jeff Koons, people who have ‘people’. I particularly envy Yayoi Kusama though with her studio tacked onto the side of a psychiatric hospital. It would be so nice if, as well as someone to go and find me the right pen or 220 GSM paper, there were someone to catch me when I metaphorically fall, which I do sadly… Although I am completely aware that this level of buffering from the world can lead to the Howard Hughes syndrome where one loses total track of one’s ability to engage with the real world. But I’m getting ahead of myself here, all I would like from today is a copable amount of worry and problems that, if not instantly solvable , can be dealt with in a reasonable human timeframe rather than watching my options being narrowed off or closed down as they spread into terms of being years away. It was sobering and humbling spending a decade or so as a shut in as I feel it have given me a degree of patience, focus and drive that is beyond normal levels of comprehension but sadly it makes it hard for me to deal with the grasping, the squandering and the fakers of this world. Plus it makes it very hard to suffer fools gladly, not easy hereabouts or probably anywhere else for that matter. Which is hard because I am pretty foolish myself (being self aware is a bugger isn’t it?)
So what do I do? Just get on with it I suppose… Bite down on the frustration and that vertiginous lack of control and just struggle through doing the best I can with what I’ve got. Just like everyone else really…