Yes. I am working. This was the answer that I gave to my friend last Friday when she asked me what I was doing on Saturday. “I’m working.” “What do you mean, you’re working?” She asked. I told her that I would be at the studio as usual. “Well, she said, “That’s not really working.” “You won’t be going to your (day) job”. I was appalled at her answer and attitude. She continued “You’re making your art, that’s not working, because you’re doing what you want to be doing”. Huh? Yes, that is what I want to do. Yes, it is my passion. Yes, I do happen to make money with my art, but even if I didn’t, I am still working. It’s work that I love. Art is my life’s work and what I was meant to do.
My friend works at a Monday through Friday, 9-5 salaried job. So do I. My weekend “job” is creating art. Gleefully. Since when can’t people love their job? Since when does one have to make money at their job? This country would fall flat without people who volunteer for non-monitorial jobs. Those workers gain genuine benefits—way beyond a paid salary.
Since when is it only a “real” job if you don’t like what you’re doing? Balls. When I was a stay-at-home mom—that was working. When I did all the cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, nursing, clothes washing, ironing, …ing, …ing…ing, with no salary—that was working! And I’m sure my friend would agree with me because back in the day, she did that gig, too.
So, dear friends, please reframe your thinking. When I’m in the studio, I am working. I am not available to talk for hours about nonsense. I am not available to go shopping. Or to meet you for lunch. Comments to me such as “oh you can do that later” or, “that’s not really working” are disrespectful. It makes me think that maybe I’m not living my life like you think I should. I would not even think to suggest that when you are at your 9-5 salaried job you are not working. I would not call you at a whim at all hours during your workday and expect you to drop everything to talk endlessly about who is going to be kicked off “Dancing with the Stars”, or about your adorable and brilliant grandchildren. When I’m at my weekend “job” creating art, please believe me when I tell you that I’m working—passionately.