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3.28.2006

Past: Tense / Present: Perfect

I've always been of the belief that if you lose a friend, it means that you never really had that person as a friend in the first place.

All my life I've fought against the commoditization of my soul. From a very early age, I've often been seen as a short list of adjectives: "creative", "gay". Whereas both of those things are a large part of who I am, it's not WHAT I am. To be 7 and have relatives comment on how they want your art because when you die they will be rich. To know that everyone's sense of your worth hangs not on your life, but on your death is not a way to grow up. People have always wanted a piece of me in that regard and often viewed me as nothing more than the product I could provide to accessorize their lifestyle or ensure their upward mobility and status.

and to a degree that is the nature of being an artist.

But very few people ever saw (or see me) as a person BEFORE being an artist.

I've had to learn a very valuable lesson in regards to where that stands.

Before the move to Phoenix I freelanced as a designer and had the luxury of taking jobs from clients whom I get along with. Those clients, I came to believe, were part of my friends.

But then one sued me for money on a job she dropped out of, but I completed. Then another (her friend) suddenly decides not to pay me for work I've completed for HER.

Both, I had thought were my friends. We shared wine together, celebrated birthdays together...

But I was naive. I have come to find out that I was nothing more than a tool to make them look good to their bosses and that the good spirits were to placate me and keep me from leaving.

When it came time for me to go to Phoenix, I found that I was dead to them and they made every effort to stop me - even withholding payment. *( I'm losing over $8,000 because of it.)

I don't like being faced with my naiveté, however I've had to learn the lesson that clients are not friends. You can never be friends with someone who is cutting you a check because you will never be anything more than a drain on their bank account and in many ways, a whore. You are paid for services rendered.... nothing more.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pause & reflect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Under the black, rubber mallet of transition, I have been clarified and reduced. I can see the skin I want to shed and am glad that it is sluffing itself.

It's like seeing the number in the dots and finding out that your vision is, in fact, accurate when before, you only saw the dots... and you feel so stupid for only seeing dots before when the number was there all along.

That is one of the things I am glad to leave behind: The whorish aspect of art. I have no choice but to do it, because that is how I make my living... but I am tired of dancing on the corporate pole for ones and quarters. I look forward to being part of a family that wants you around for not only what you can do, but who you are as a person. I want consistency. I want medical benefits again. I'm tired of the uncertainty of freelance, tired of always having to be the bad cop, tired of having to reconcile the insult of the parsimonious with the need for bread crumbs... but more importantly, I was tired of being tired... and I didn't even know it.

2 Comments:

  • M@,

    The caption, "Ice in a strainer"
    requires reflection as does one your powerful post.

    Good art causes discomfort and reaction. The creator is the source of discomfort and reaction.

    This post the is a univeral call for validation and acceptance of our individual unquiness.

    Your humanity and your personal vunerabliety are shared through your writing.

    If you exposed your self in interpersoanl relationships as you do in your post I cannot comprehend how you could feel commoditized because you very real in your blog postings.

    Good luck in Arizona.

    Warmest regards from your blog fan,

    j i m m y

    p.s. sue 'em

    By Blogger j i m m y, at 8:18 PM  

  • I'd rather just let it go. Money is nothing in comparison the concept of harbouring negativity. If I don't let it go, it will consume me.

    I will have to let it go eventually... might as well start now.

    By Blogger M@, at 9:43 PM  

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