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RE: Artist first or teacher first?


Date: Fri Nov 14 2003 - 04:42:29 PST

I think of myself as both a teacher and an artist, but I do my art all
summer every day, my teaching is during the school year. I also teach a
jewelry summer camp for two weeks in the summer and earn the equivalent
of an extra paycheck during those two weeks. I use that money to fund a
vacation and my art expenses during the summer. I sell my art at
Christmas time and Valentine's day (jewelry). For the first five years
of my teaching I put 200 percent of my creativity and efforts into
developing my program. All of a sudden I was depressed and realized I
was doing nothing for myself. Someone (still don't know who) put an
application for a scholarship to Arrowmont School of Crafts in Tennessee
on my desk. I had never applied for a scholarship before, but decided
to give it a try. I got one. Could not believe it. All expenses paid,
even airfare!!! They reward teachers and people who do community
service with these scholarships. I remember crying when I got there. I
could not believe this was happening to me. I felt like Queen for a
Day. What a wonderful two weeks that was. I made a vow that I have
kept for 19 years....summer belongs to me. Arrowmont was a wonderful
experience, like a spiritual unveiling of myself. Since then I have
also been to Penland and Haystack Mountain in Maine. I cannot recommend
these places highly enough. More recently, I put a studio in my house,
and I take classes at the Museum School in the summer. Occasionally
throughout the year I get to do a little bit of art, but we all know
what our schedules are like.
It's very hard to balance a FULL time job, kids or an aging parent,
spouse, domestic chores, and just relaxing. I have three kinds of
relaxing that I, reading, and making art. If you really
want to do it, you can figure out a way.

Linda Woods