(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Not Just For Profit

.. not that there is much actual monetary profit in being an artist anyway - at least for most of us. Honestly, who would choose a job where the most common description, used for well over a hundred years, to describe it is 'starving'? Or the track record of many artists making more money after they have died? Not the most attractive selling points for a career choice.

So what do I do it for? I have no choice, and there lies the rub. I have spent over 25 years in a well-paying profession which I enjoy but it does not give me the same satisfaction as creating something. Over the past years, I have rediscovered my 'bliss'; nothing gives me the same calmness or completeness as I achieve during or after I have actually created something. Every one has a piece of my soul embedded in it. My dear husband has commented many times, over the years, that I get grumpy when I have not 'made something for a while'. 

It does not matter whether it is writing, drawing, costume making, photography or even creating in my garden. All elicit the same endorphin-like effect. Bliss. Today, I am meeting with some of my friends for Scribes, for calligraphy and illumination, as a part of one of the clubs I am a member of. We re-create medieval and renaissance style 'scrolls' for boons given in our club. It is yet another outlet to give me my creative fix. It can take 3-6 months to create an original design, with calligraphy (writing) in a period style to match the artwork.  

Here are some examples:

And at the end, each one is given freely to someone (I often don't know) to thank them for work done. Though I do take commissions, these work is a labour of love - worth it for the smile you see on the recipients face! 

So, the answer to the question who would choose being an artist as a job? Me, because it is a passion and not just for profit.
(I won't be giving up my other part-time job in a hurry, but what a wonderful  full-time job it would be.)


  1. 3-6 months? Wow! Mine usually take 3-6 days.

    1. we get allotted 3-6 months to finish. I rarely get a full day (Scribes is 1/2 a day, once per month) to work on it. Once I design the layout, I take 1/2-1 day to ink design, similar times for calligraphy (which is not my favourite bit) and for the illumination/painting - depending on how long it takes for each layer to dry.