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The Art of Work and the Artwork

Thoughts from the Studio; Work Ethics and Doing Art

My first job was babysitting. Easy. The baby sleeps, I watch tv, parents go out and come back, I get paid. My first real jobs were during my senior year in high school. There was an awful teacher's strike that appeared to have no end. I worked delivering mail until I was attacked by a dog (all’s well to both of us). I, then proceeded to a job in a port warehouse, packaging oranges for export. From that job, I learned discipline, responsibility, and compassion. We were picked up at six o’clock sharp. We had a quota to do by morning break and in general throughout the day. If we finished the morning quota early, we had an extended break. If we all finished our daily quota early, we could go home early. Everyone pulled their weight. If someone was lagging a bit behind, another co-worker who finished would help. We had to do the job right otherwise, we would have to do it all over again. All my first jobs did not require much thinking or planning but they did require teamwork. The more educated I got, the more responsibility and ingenuity were required at the workplace. I eventually found myself, coordinating, planning, teaching, counseling, lecturing, and leading. All that with a Fine Arts Degree and then another. I found myself far away from my original intent of being an artist. Well, life did kick in: marriage and family required attention and proper home economics. No room for the starving artist myth (or reality). I realized how far I had gone when my children used the last of my studio paints for school projects. I just let out a small sigh and continued with the “cleaning- up-out-to-work” schedule. Truth be told, I was very much in love with being involved in family life and was not emotionally available to paint and do art. I did have a “gig” of almost 10 years of drawing a comic strip for a very local paper. That was fun and allowed me to hold colors, rant, and laugh about life in general. Also, the deadline was perfect for discipline and planning.

“Animastalgia” – printable (DM for details or go to site) @Barbara Adler Art 2020

Then the kids grew up, the house was more often quiet than noisy and Covid-19 came along and changed things forever. I was made redundant (well, actually it was mutual) from my 30+ years of teaching. I found myself during the first lockdown on the sofa with the dogs, drawing. My inner voice came out. I had so much to draw and say. It appeared like there was no end to this burst of creativity. My experience kicked in and I realized that if I don’t plan and schedule my work, my artwork, it will never be professional. I could find myself with “writers-block” for another 30 years, a time that I don’t have. I can’t and mustn’t leave it up to the good graces of the muses. Work in the studio is just like any profession; strategy, planning, and execution of the project, whether that project is business or that project is art. I get up in the morning just like I did with all my other jobs, check out my calendar, check the “to-do” list, plan and check to see if I am in line with my strategy and get to work. I really love my work. Sometimes I feel guilty as it feels like play. I have “studio” days, I have “business” days, I have “writing” days and I make room for planning and strategy.

“Light” – Acrylic on Rolled Canvas 70/100cm @ Barbara Adler Art Oct.2021

To sum up, I would say that all my years of experience taught me the art of work; being content is not easy in the workplace, but I loved teaching and all that was involved while it lasted. I love doing art as much if not more than when I was a young art student. The art of work enables me to do my artwork.

Everybody needs art. There is Art for everyone’s state of mind, desires and tastes. Take a break, reflect and delve into some of my art, to my stories.

All the works on this blog are for sale and are Barbara Adler originals. I love talking about my art, so feel free to DM/contact me regarding my art and possibly making it yours.

See more of my art, perhaps find a suitable workshop and read more of my blogs on my website:

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