Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Maslow again

A little sketch I did on a whim after a sudden burst of inspiration that, like most of my sudden burst of inspiration lately, was fleeting. I was reading a blog entry by a fellow artist when I was struck with the idea. This is one of many blog entries written by artists who don't make quite enough with their art to sustain themselves day to day. Contrary to popular belief, artists do like to eat and as a result many of us who should be out taking photographs or playing an instrument on stage or tapping away on a keyboard, compiling a manuscript, are going into offices or shops and helping other people make money.

I'm really good at administration. I'm organised and efficient and I have a strong enough work ethic that even if I really, really don't care about what I'm doing, whilst I'm getting paid for it, I will do it to the best of my ability.

This aptitude I have for administration has landed me a relatively well-paid position in a charity. Everyone working there is lovely and the job itself is decent in that I'm making a contribution and not just pushing paper for some huge company. Whilst my hard work has lead to me making enough dosh that I can purchase canvases, get art imaged and stock up on other supplies, it leaves me with very little time to actually do the things I want do. And honestly, it's still not like I'm making some glorious sum which allows me the freedom to spend willy-nilly. I'm on a tight budget with time and money and it's all making me feel a bit robotic.

I get up early and on the walk down to the tube I usually find myself buzzing with ideas. Thoughts on looking up publishers, sending out manuscripts, seeking a gallery space, starting my next Tarot painting, starting an entirely new project, updating my blog and visiting museums whirl through my brain and add a spring to my step. The first few hours in the office I'm running on this feeling. I'm feeling zippy, full of ideas, full of creativity. I'm alone for the most part and I can tackle my to do list without interruption or distraction. I get emails and phone messages out of the way and delve into something creative. Something I've been storing up, like designing a pamphlet or certificate. My lovely co-workers trickle in, the rest of the country wakes up and the phone begins to ring. My inbox begins to fill.

Suddenly I'm pulled away from my creative task. It's shut and put aside whilst I stuff envelopes, write letters, prints documents and do data entry. My day becomes filled with these tasks, seemingly without end, until it's four o'clock and I'm free to go.

Its only a twenty minute tube ride home but when I get there the sun is already setting and my energy wanes with the disappearing light. This paints a bleak picture (pardon the pun) but I'm trying my best to remember that this is a spring board for other things. CS5 is on it's way and my line manager appreciates that I'm a creative soul.

I've got food, water, shelter, warmth. I feel safe and secure where I live. I'm loved both here and afar. For the most part, I feel pretty spiffy about myself. But I'm finding it extremely difficult at the moment (just at the moment, mind you) to get to the plateau where true self-fulfillment is found. Where I don't have to worry about making enough money to have all those lower levels met whilst also meeting that top level.

One day.

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