Monday, April 21, 2014

Ringmaster

The weather has been hot, but not as hot as it's been in the desert.  Driving to the desert is nutty on some days since the van does not currently have AC.  But it was a glorious Palm Springs Easter anyway.

I've been working for Lisa for six months now.  I know how to sand and dry brush a poppet.  I know how tiny umbrellas are made.  I now write ad copy and spin brushes on my tongue for a finer tip and field customer service like it's my job or something.  And every few weeks she takes me out for some Goodwill shopping--because $3 is all it takes to treat yourself sometimes.

When I report to the studio there are orders I need to pack.  After this last sale, there were about 60 of them, and we're still chipping away at that nonsense.  Or I will grab my apron and start putting the base coats on Daisy Kate or Poppet On Tour.  In the kitchen Willie cooks us comfort foods like Mac n Cheese or Home Fries.  And now Lisa has purchased empty Otter Pop style wrappers that she's freezing different refreshing liquids in, some with coffee, some with fruit, some with booze.


I sit down at whatever workstation she isn't at and squirt out a glop of harbor blue paint and take my pick of the available brushes.

There are hundreds probably.  Mostly in the same spazzed out state of overuse, none are really any better than another.  We get new ones all the time but they all end up looking fried because of the major increase in the volume of poppets that the shop is selling.

It's actually quite fantastic.

I know that waiting for me is my next big task:  opening up my franchise.  It's what I was brought out to the studio to do in the first place, but I had to help increase revenue first so that a second shop could open.  This is why I was given the title "liaison" instead of just "studio assistant."  My job, aside from painting all these little goobers and running the grunt work end of all things art, is to manage a shop on the side that is full of collaboration pieces and merchandise.

I have been slow to start on this project because I have been overly busy and I am managing a sort of "depression light" thing right now.  By depression light I mean that I can get out of bed, I am not as tired as I used to be, and I don't ball all of the problems into one large thing.  This is thanks to therapy and medicine.  I do, however, lack motivation at times and honestly if I don't feel like doing something I won't do it.  I will not drag myself to get something done.  I will either do it or I won't.  When I first started the medicine though, I could just do things.  I didn't have to drag, I would just show up and do it.

Now, literally, if I do not see the money in my account, or the grade on my paper, or the food on my plate, fuck it.

Fuck it all, in fact.

Fuck you.  Fuck him.  Fuck that guy.  And fuck everything.  Fuck your Honda and fuck that corn bread.  Fuck the space needle and fuck Charlie Daniels.  Fuck Felisha and fuck bicycles and fuck that old table outside of the antique shop.  Fuck this computer.  Fuck the roundabouts.  Fuck email.  Fuck time.  Fuck energy.

And it's not as if I intended it to be this way.

I've been handed an opportunity to run a franchise--a real business with a real built in collector base full of real authors and independently wealthy art collectors.  I love this.  This is great.

What else though is I've liked not being the boss for a while.  I like that my job is dictated by what the boss lady needs, and that if I paint a face wrong, you know what?  This isn't my art, I can't get upset that I didn't do it right.  Whereas if someone told me a picture I took wasn't composed well enough I'd be like "fuck."  I like being first mate.  I like being Girl Friday.

Taking on the responsibility of a second shop is serious business.

It isn't my work that's going into it.  It's other artists that have been rounded up to use Lisa's art to create new art, or to translate it through a new medium.  I mean, I will put my little things in, like nesting dolls similar to the ones I painted for her for Christmas.  I will be assembling various merchandise for sale, but none of this is "me."

Still, I have cold feet.  I have cold feet and loose shoes.  Still, it's show time and the curtain is opening this week.  I will be the ringmaster.  Lisa will collect royalties.  Something about cleaning her oven while she sleeps.

I've come up with little business ventures on the side before.  In 2006 I had my own Etsy shop, and of course I did the photography thing for seven years.  I even started a snack delivery service.  All of those were done out of desperation and survival.  Those elements are missing here--thankfully--but I'm having a hard time moving past the idea that I can just, you know, do things without it being an emergency.  I am trained to feel like the other shoe is waiting to drop.

And it really isn't.

I've had some rest.  Six months of medication that mostly works to take the edge off, lots of learning and flexibility.  Someone else's art that I am promoting and organizing.  I'm not really in charge.

Big deep sigh.  Big deep sigh and calm harbor blue ocean.

I'll just keep floating along in my fake pearls and smile for the camera when it points my way.


2 comments:

  1. First, I adore this picture of you. Fantastic! " I have cold feet and loose shoes." I love this. May I use it as a new saying? Because of some things you said to me yesterday, I'm willing to let those shoes slide right off of my feet. The worst thing that will happen is that I'll be barefoot.

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  2. of course. but the shoes must be fabulous.

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