"We've Been Grabbed By The..." 2016. Gouache on Vellum Paper, 11x14".
How did you get into debt?
I put a downpayment on a house with the inheritance I received when my father died. I was sold the American Dream of homeownership... no one really tells you that you have to work 24/7 to keep up on a home, especially a 100 year old foreclosure. Everything I have, financially and physically, goes into it. It's about to get worse: the infrastructure (sewer system) is breaking down and the city is forcing me to excavate the busy street in front of the house, which could cost upwards of $18,000. Meanwhile property taxes rise to pay for shiny new football stadiums that the teams could easily afford.
"Jurassic Mark" 2016. Ink, Pencil, Digital Coloring. 11x17" Print.
How does your economic reality effect your art?
I'm unable to spend as much money on promotional materials/ entrance fees as I feel I would need to in order to get my name out there and start making more money off of art. I'm currently in talks with printers about having prints of my work made, but the idea of having that much overhead is horrifying-- how can I afford to have even $300 in prints sitting around my house until I can (hopefully) sell them? I dropped down to twenty hours a week at my hairstyling job, but that time has run out. I'm going to have to go back to a career that has drained me both physically and mentally for a decade, full time. I must take vital time away from my home studio and growing my business. I am often too exhausted after work to get into the creative zone and work more. I feel like I've been running in circles.
"Sally" 2016. Mixed Media on Art Board. Four 10x20" panels (40x20" total).
Would your work look different if you weren't in debt?:
Yes. I would have time to make more of it. I wouldn't have to scrimp and save and buy cheap art supplies. I would be able to devote more time to my art instead of struggling to stay awake long enough to do it after a long day at work.