Saturday 30 March 2013

A week of many 'hats'

Any of my fellow artist friends will understand what I mean by a week of 'hats'.
The official term for it is having a 'portfolio career' which isn't as financial as it sounds, but it can basically be interpreted as meaning most artists have to have variety of strings to their bow in order to survive artistically and yet still manage to pay the electricity bill. I count myself as very lucky, in that all of the aspects of my career are art related, as I know some of my colleagues have to turn their hand to all manner of occupations just to keep their heads above water.
The beginning of my week was spent glued to my laptop, wading through the great long list of research avenues I need to explore before my residency at The Priest's House Museum. Research is never a chore for me, I always feel a little like Sherlock Holmes, pursuing the salient piece of information that will provide me with the answer to a particular line of enquiry. So far I have looked into Georgian fabrics, battery powered candles and how to create a database that anyone can access on the internet (see previous post).
Wednesday saw me assisting my first year tutor, the very inspirational Julia Flatman, with a presentation she was giving at Arts University Bournemouth, concerning engaging students with museums. Julia was demonstrating to the Higher Education Academy, her part in encouraging the degree students in their first year, to participate in the project 'Wunderkammer' - a consideration of the museum as a 'Wonder Room' or 'Cabinet of Curiosities'. Her presentation was excellent as always and it was a privilege to be asked to speak both with her and in front an esteemed audience including representatives from the V&A and the Pitt Rivers Museum.
Thursday was a short day of respite from the degree, organising a variety of publicity material to promote my work as a commercial artist followed by a wonderful trip to the live streaming of the Royal Ballet's production of Alice in Wonderland, satisfying my previous incarnation as a ballet teacher. Then the conclusion of my week has seen me in my post as Gallery Shop Manager at Walford Mill Crafts, both opening for the public over the Easter Weekend and taking charge of our annual stock take. Tonight numbers are swimming before my eyes and I'm not sure that I will get to sleep too quickly, after adding up columns of figures all day.
This just goes to prove that the traditional view of an artist languishing in their studio is inaccurate, most of us have a broad range of skills and fill our days from dawn to dusk rushing about and cramming as much in as they can. I wouldn't change it for the world.

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