There are a LOT of wonderful things about being a full time artist, really. From the sheer joy of deciding what you want to do today — draw, write, work up new ideas — to the weird kind of faith that you develop in this position, just quietly expecting calls to come and checks to materialize somehow. You are responsible for generating enough income to take care of your little world. Yeah.
Obviously we also have that responsibility in the more routine get-a-job workaday world. Sure. Tasks To Be Done NOW are presented to you in both cases and you get those items addressed to appropriate levels, somehow. Right? If NOT, hey, the income stops. STOPS! Yow! And I have had plenty of that experience in both worlds, I assure you. Not fun.
It struck me recently that ALMOST ALL the places I have worked have gone out of business since my departure.
And that the few left seem to be hanging by a thread, especially the newspapers.
Weird, eh? I have had a lot of jobs along the way and more than a few of my former employers have gone by the wayside over the years. Mostly smaller shops, such as the printing jobs I held for most of my thirties and forties have succumbed. Brownie’s Ink, The Tradin’ Post, Color Q, to name a few. And the last, and my favorite — “Litho-Print.” Sure! Great little shop, good people and I miss them all.
Things are tough in the business world and obviously they always have been. It’s damned hard to make payroll and get enough sales and keep the machines going. Lots and lots of ways to lose out, eh? Tragically so, friends, and the unpredictable peaks and valleys, bucks and plunges of the larger economy have a huge impact on your world.
This last year has seen a brutal wipeout of many, many businesses, from restaurants to bars to most every other level of industry, and not just in the USA; it’s a global crisis and of course it is because of Covid-19 with its incessant lockdowns, shutdowns, panics, denials, screaming and arguing about masks and all. Ah well.
In the last few weeks we seem to be finally coming out of the bunker a bit, most of us vaccinated and feeling more protected, no longer required to wear the face masks in most situations. Things are better, yes, and thank God for that. If you are still hesitant to get the vaccine, friend, I urge you to do so. HUNDREDS of millions have taken the shot, including Diane and myself, and almost every last one of us is doing fine. The numbers are incredibly encouraging, and I hope you decide to get the vaccine right away.
Please get the shot because the alternative is brutal and there is zero warning. Businesses can live and die, they are mortal — and so are you and I.
Be strong, be well and let’s go forward into this brighter, happier, more hopeful world that has started to show itself here in early summer of 2021.