DARE TO MAKE YOUR LIFE A WORK OF ART!You painted, you wrote poems, you sewed your own clothes, you grew flowers and made bouquets, you cook like a 4 star chef and did this all your life. You wrote fabulous stories and got A's in school. Your greeting cards were hand made, the POEMS all by YOU! Your home is decorated so ingeniously it looks like the atelier of a great artist yet you got a job as ….. WHAT????? You got a job as a bank clerk? WHY? CUZ It paid well? ? There you are --so super talented that folks beg to buy paintings off your walls and all you do all day is add up strangers’ checkbooks for free? Honey, you're dying on the vine! Take a stand. Leap off a cliff. DARE to join VAN GOGH, MATISSE, ROUSSEAU, HEMINGWAY! DUFY (shown here ) TALENT is a curse if you can’t explore it regularly. It bangs on the inside of your head. Nothing sadder than having it and burying it in the ground. I mean one COULD -- but that would be taking the first three or four decades of our life and all those great, developing artistic sensibilities and experience and burying THEM! Showing no reverence for the God-Given talent that is yours!
What would you be concentrating on that's so great? Being a bank clerk?  Buying property? Driving new cars? TALENT is a river and it will burst out of all dams.I know of what I speak. My novels and poems languish in boxes. As to write is a passion, -- any writing at all, I write website text on how to get lucky in love. And how to tie-dye pillows and how to paint and make a terrific living and various and sundry other, new age careers. 

Having submitted books, articles and scripts to all sides when I had postage money, I FIND THAT moving art into the public eye takes more work than creating the art! You have to know how to hit the street, hustle, pitch and SELL. Get represented by an agent. Etc. What can we resolve about that problem?????

Do A LITTLE ART and sell it to friends TO EARN A LITTLE STAMP MONEY, maybe even some encouraging local (or internet) fame, some friendly praise, your family’s applause! Or just to save your soul from working at the BANK!

DEVELOP A TRADE ITEM! Ponder, what do you create that’s the most marketable? Have a trade item! It could be a pillow. One velvet pillow can bring you forty five dollars, or if you have a neighbor who is a chicken farmer, as I do, a year of fresh eggs. 

Your penchant for thrift store beads in unique colors, a buck a piece these days, but giving you dozens of beads from the 50’s,can become something startlingly VINTAGE! Yet modern. A HUNDRED DOLLAR NECKLACE that is unique, made of THRIFT STORE beads from a dozen old pieces that weren’t put together as right as you could do it! 

OR SAY…your COOKIES are superb, your brownies chewy not dry. Consider a subscription delivery route for those babies. Your pals get the chocolate sweets delivered every Friday night. Their parties are covered. Use the cash to launch a catering biz, doing parties or THE MOVEABLE FEAST, carrying Red Riding Hood’s basket of sandwiches to corporate offices.

My neighbor Dorothy the cat lady does meticulous paintings of horses and kitties, and then transfers them to textile at the Xerox shop, and pumps out pillows! And sells them at different pet outlets. She is a member of every CAT rescue group around.

I used to tie dye lengths of velvet, in psychedelic patterns, then back it with PUFFY pillow FILLING, and then quilt it, the entire thing, but in pieces. First I’d quilt the sleeves, then back, front, all quilted. It became puffy, opulent huge cocktail jackets, lined in silk, with satin frogs on the front. Woulda made a great trade item. You looked a little like the PILLSBURY DOUGH BOY on ACID, wearing one. But it inspired one lady to pay me to do fabric for her small couch.

MUSIC IS A THOUGHT! Compose ballads you can play at a party, learn to burn them on CD’s and put them on line as MP3’s. Start a garage band or a stringed quartet. Explore back alley record stores to find fifties folk music records and learn the songs, to sing at a party. Who knows, that record producer at the bar may want to release you to the public. 

PAINT CANVASES.  We may be in the cash free zone and cannot afford oil paints and oil brushes, but to SKETCH costs nothing. CHARCOAL sticks cost nothing. And each SKETCH YOU SELL of your FRIEND, each PORTRAIT brings you SIX BUCKS, which is the cost of a single tube of OIL PAINT! Sketch on cheap paper -- newsprint quality, real sketch paper, cheaper than anything. DO NOT sketch on fine-grained papers. FOR PRACTICE, we get junk mail by the ton with blank backs! PRACTICE on the back of printed ads! Any blank paper will do. THE REAL ARTISTS developed in the beginning by working on their skill in sketching. Learning to draw with the 'right brain' they call it, is a skill. 

THEN when you have a fine sketch, you can keep your model and switch into doing a painting. We pain on canvas. Frugal way probably a linen type or duck type FABRIC, even blue jeans...or stiff canvas, primed with rabbit glue or some other PRIMER. My mother used to use plain white water-based house paint to PRIME A STRETCHED CANVAS. FABRIC must be stretched firmly over stretcher bars, FIRST, as a primer will 'shatter' if it can move. 

AFTER primer dries, paint the picture. NOT A LOT OF COST for merchandise but a picture can bring 70$ wholesale. 500$ if it’s good. A gal I know traded a nearly new SUV for one of her paintings.  She was asking thirty k but decided a car was fine. Her work is geometric shapes of particle board, there’s a special name for it, MASONITE…. it’s thin and very hard. And these squares are colored but then there are brush splats on each piece. A sixteen year old with a band saw could copy the concept. She spray dotted it with inkblots, similar to the splats of DeKooning. Last I heard, she had a Big L.A. gallery hustling her constructions/paintings, a manager guiding her career and the head guy at our L.A. County Art Museum has been trying to buy one of her splatthingies.But then she did something very similar to going off to work at a bank. She got married and had a baby. Probably her best creation ever, I shouldn’t piffle it…..but she is talented! AND ANOTHER favorite artist of mine, PHOEBE BRUNNER, has an online gallery to inspire you  

So, between jobs, between marriages, give art a try. REGULARLY explore your top art forms. Paint on Canvas isn't the only one. Do you have any idea what they’re getting for a jar of jam these days? My pal does! She has a booth at the farmers’ market, gets 8$ a small four inch tall jar of her kiwi-lemon peel jam. It’s a mouth zinger and a true work of art. And she sells VINTAGE EBAY tablecloths at her stall, for twice what they cost her.And then she started taking the best vintage cloths, copying them. A Silk Screen company made stencils and now she turns them out on real linen for bigger bucks. Smithsonian and White House Gift shop are ordering her political ones.

The LAST RESORT for an artist who is all thumbs is to import gorgeousness from exotic climes. Do the IMPORTING ARTS, The entire seminar on import/export as a biz will be found at THE ARTISAN WEBSITE, also visit  the website of MARLA MALLETT an Atlanta woman. She did this career to the nines and has links to every important art magazine, e-zine or school. This is like walking thru a museum. GO THERE.

Last, start making your apartment real gussied up. To be inspired, study the great decorators, MICHAEL TAYLOR, TONY DUQUETTE, Syrie Maugham. Google them, there are pages of the first two’s work, really posh creations online. Maugham’s work gets described, verbally. It’s still inspiring.