By Sharon Louden
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Additional info for Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists
I feel very lucky to be a part of this community and to be living the life I am living. 61 LIVING AND SUSTAINING A CREATIVE LIFE It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. I’ve weathered the jealous boyfriends and bosses, unstable income and some very close financial calls. My last full-time job was at a mannequin factory; this was from 2002 to 2005. It was a fascinating job where I learned how the human face was put together. It made up for the anatomy class I would have had if I had gone to art school, and now I can paint portraits as a result.
Most of the time it is smaller, more incremental steps forward and I busy myself with process. 36 Beth Lipman One and Others 65”x78”x41” Glass, wood, paint and glue 2012 Courtesy of the artist and Norton Museum of Art Photography by Robb Quinn BETH LIPMAN The sales from my work support my family. This is a situation I tried hard to avoid for the better part of my career, because I didn’t want to be beholden to the marketplace. I used to be an artist, an arts administrator and a wife working full-time in the non-profit world, overseeing visual artists’ residencies and education programs, working in my studio an average of eight hours a week.
Another key to my studio production are my invaluable studio assistants and interns. I find it refreshing to have company in the studio and hear others’ perspectives. I enjoy showing them both the excitement and insanity of the studio. And I am always willing to share my insights to assist in the formation of their own early careers. I also feel it is important to work in New York City, if possible, although it can certainly prove difficult for many. No other place has so much to offer an artist in terms of opportunity, exposure, motivation and dialog.
Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists by Sharon Louden