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Re: The Book Arts as a Career

Extending Ed's advice to the arts in general, book and other--how
perfectly he has expressed the bredth of the great challenge.

Marsha Sinetar wrote "Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow", and,
although the money may not follow in great quantity, I believe that
the life energy certainly will. (And isn't that what money is?--the means
for continuing the evolution of your life and what you do and produce
through the use of it?)

One's art requires one's own support, as parenting requires the adult's
support and nurturance of the child. If and when the time comes when the
art pays for itself and it is not necessary to do something else
to keep body and soul together, wonderful! But it is unreasonable
to expect that to happen without the nurturance period.

Just as a child needs to be fed and clothed and sent to school,
one's art needs to be financed with the supplies required to make
it, the TIME (protected, hoarded, savored, and sacrificed from possibly
doing something else) to produce it, the fees and shipping costs to send
it places, and on and on. You don't have children without anticipating the
care they will require, and you can't endeavor to be an artist (book or
otherwise) without being willing to do what must to done to keep the work
alive and growing. This requires financial energy as well as creative.

I believe, as Ed so beautifully said, that ultimately the simple fact of
continuing to do it, to wake up another morning and try it all again
until the doing of it is so much a fabric of your life, that it WILL
support you (at least emotionally, ideologically) in the rough times
--because you have supported it when you could in the not-as-rough times.

And the people you meet, the sharing that goes on (printmakers are very
much like book artists in this way) also make it worth the great deal of
work that it entails.

Ed wrote:
> Maybe you shouldn't give up your day job.  But don't give up your dreams
> either.
> most important--keep making books!
> If this is what matters to you more than anything else, you will find a way to
> be a successful, professional and--if not overly well-paid--then certainly
> paid- enough, (book) artist.

What else is there but this (and love too--if you're lucky)!



          Janet Maher, Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts
          Loyola College in Maryland, 4501 North Charles Street
          Baltimore, Maryland  21210-2699        (410-617-5545)

                (web) http://www.qis.net/~jmar/index.balto.html
                (email)  jmar@xxxxxxx

             "Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey
              to the ocean of meanings."             --Rumi

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