"Broke is Beautiful: Living and Loving the Cash Strapped Life" by Laura Lee is wonderful book that I read recently, and it completely resonated with me. I highly recommend it. In it she discusses a huge variety of financially related topics. This you might find interesting, "...the original meaning of thrift meant prosperity and growth. It was most often applied to nature or used as a metaphor for the growth of healthy plants. A healthy garden was a thrifty garden. A sunflower as high as an elephant's eye was thrifty. In that spirit, you should not look upon economic thrift as deprivation, but as your means to grow and thrive."
This year I have completely enjoyed experimenting with various acrylic processes in my wonderful studio. I have had a few abject failures but many paintings that I consider really good. My abilities as an acrylic painter have grown, my vision of success has clarified, and my artwork production has been abundant. During this time I also researched, studied, and learned about art promotion, marketing, and the art market, yet I have been undeniably negligent in that pursuit. In fourteen weeks it is very likely that I will have to give up my lovely studio. The truly weird thing is I am only slightly bothered by this. It feels thrifty.
Another book that I read recently was "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield. Despite the insistent recommendation I got from a friend whose opinion I respect, and the many wonderful quotes that I do enjoy from the book, I found that overall, at this time, it did not resonate with me. I overcame my resistance and read the whole thing so as to find my favorite quote which was, ironically, the very last sentence, "Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got."
I love that part, and there are other parts I agree with, but some of it pissed me off. Then it occurred to me, I am not a warrior! Hooray! Plus, I haven't been a successful breadwinner since my youth when my rent was cheap, and my expenses nominal, so Stephen and I have different points of view and that is okay. Although it bothered me at first, it may indeed be true, by his definition I am a confirmed amateur artist.
However, one thing of which I am completely sure, having lived this long, is that I am an artist. Whether or not I make art everyday, does not matter. When I have to make it, it will be made whether I have a studio or not, whether anyone buys it or not, whether anyone likes it or not, whether years go by or merely moments. I have become familiar with my cyclical nature and I respect it, and I have the good fortune to do so. I agree that sometimes making artwork is a struggle for a variety of reasons, but ultimately I am not at war. I am at peace with art. I allow the peace of art to infuse my days. I enjoy a thrifty artistic life that by faith allows peace, and I highly recommend it to all who can accept it.