In BLOG9 I wrote about the phenomenon of the ‘part-time’ artist. At the 2010 exposition I presented myself as ‘diplomat-artist’. What a curious combination! Or as ‘artist-diplomat’, what comes first? (or ‘diplomatic artist’? … ‘artistic diplomat’?...). The combination of ‘artist’ (this title does not seem to be protected or certified) and a ‘real’ profession (a ‘diplomat’ is real?) is not unusual. On the contrary, few artists can make a decent living, and success usually comes after death! So, yes, authors, poets, painters will often combine their artistic work with a rather straight forward 8-to-5 job. And for some very good reasons: to be completely dependent on art as sole income has the risk of becoming too obsessed or preoccupied with the commercial part, with ‘the market’ and in this manner loose his/her integrity as an artist.
There may be other reasons as well. Some want to seek a balance between cognitive and creative work, or to reach a more structured daily agenda, or a constant living rhythm. Others may wish to extend their social network, not wishing to remain in the loneliness and solitude as often experienced in a 100% artist’s life. So there are no reasons to deplore my position as a ‘part-time’ artist, on the contrary. Nevertheless, the challenge is to find that balance, and to accept that there is usually only time and energy for art during the weekends. Yes, limited energy as well, consequence of living in La Paz at 3400 m altitude. And too little time and energy also to visit all those vernisages, the weekly inaugurations of expositions to mix with the in crowd. Anyway, I will no longer present myself as the diplomat who coincidentally also happens to paint, but just as artist full-stop!