Currently I am an unemployed graphic designer. During regular economic times, this would be considered a cliché since as an artist, it almost goes hand-in-hand, but in this day and age of recessions, extended unemployment, etc. it’s just plain sad.
I love what I do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life, but within the past few months, I’ve had nothing but time on my hands. Enough time to sit back and contemplate what I would want to do with my life if given the opportunity of NOT getting a job in my field. What would/could I do?
Well, there’s the common response—work at Starbucks or places of similar environments, but ultimately, would I be fulfilled? Probably not.
I don’t expect to make much money, but I do expect some sort of happiness in my life, and if it involves a job, then why not? Is this so much to ask for after spending many years in college to learn my ‘craft?’
No, it isn’t.
But after much contemplation and soul searching, I have come to the realization that what makes me happy are equally combined—teaching and art. Combine the two, and the answer should be simply, an art teacher. But again, in this economic downturn, is that the smartest move since most art and music teachers are losing their jobs due to budget cuts within the school system? Add to the continuation of my education to obtain either an MFA or a teaching certificate.
Well, since I am still paying back my school loans, this might not be the most practical solution given that the end result will most likely not be a lucrative one, or worse—still remain unemployed with even a higher balance to my never-ending school loans.
Now what do I do?
Well, after living in Ft. Collins for twenty years, I also notice a lack of culture and art appreciation here. Yes, it has gotten much better since I first arrived here in August 1990 from New York City, but it does still need a significant amount of improvement considering how the population has increased throughout the years. I’ve always enjoyed walking through my daughter’s school so I can admire the artwork on display within the walls of each quad, and appreciate their naiveté as the children each create their individual masterpieces.
Then it hits me—why not open an art school for children? Something I could take charge of and be proud of and gain that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.
I realize there are a few here in town, but they’re small and expensive. I would want to make it available to children of all income levels, not just the rich or upper middle class. All children, doing nothing but creating their art and enjoying it along the way.
Of course, the space would have to be perfect. I dream of a large, open space loft—something with a rustic and urban feel to it. Lots and lots of art supplies enriched with splashes of color and ease of use. No intimidation allowed at this school!
But it wouldn’t stop there.
One thing that I always learned throughout art school myself is that in order to be a successful artist, you must go back in time and learn where and how art came from. Learning about art history—even at such a young age—can not only give each child an enrichment for art, but an appreciation as well.
But, this all costs money. Lots of money. Something I just don’t have at this point in my life. I also wonder in this economy if opening a business such as an art school for children, would be a risky move. I wish I could take the step needed to go forth with this objective, but for now, I will have to sit back and continue to fantasize about this ambition and see what happens. Maybe it’s something I will have to save for, but for now, it’ll remain a dream and a goal.