This afternoon there was a rally for the Arts in downtown Halifax, many artistic leaders in the community came out to express their discontent with Prime Minister Harper and his belittlement of Canadian Artists and his overall lack of support to the world in which I live.
All my life I've grown with the idea that "I was going to be an artist when I grew up!" Well I'm 30 now, and yes I am an Artist, a broke as hell Artist. When I graduated from NSCAD I felt somewhat defeated by the realization of just how difficult it is to be an Artist in Canada. There was just so little funding, and of that there was, it was incredibly sought after by a gaggle of other hungry artist. I was lucky enough to fall into a job in 2-D Animation as a manager... ironically skills I picked up as assistant manger at the local Pizza Hut as a means to get through Art school. The job at the studio was truly an amazing experience, and yes, in the arts... but I wasn't making art. So now, after five years of producing only about 8 -12 pieces a year, I'm back - producing about 8 - 12 a month... and unemployed.
My great hope is that there is a giant shift in politics, and more money is allowed for Arts and Culture. I would love more than anything to actually make my living from the work I'm so passionate to produce. I'm going down a brand new path these days that actually seems to reflect the one I pictured in my head as a child. Part of that vision includes a leader and a country that truly supports and enjoys what I do, who I am and what I have to give. I want to help others like myself explore what it is to create, and not just do what you're told. I've seen so many Artists be forced into the mainstream and get caught up in a "normal life" burying their creativity and replacing it with useless, usually uncontrollable, stress. Yuck, no thanks. That life is just not the life I want to live. I could be accused of living my life smelling the roses. I don't think that's a bad thing, I just wish the rest of you would join me a bit more often.