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Friday, November 30, 2012

Tools of the Trade – are they Necessary?

In my villa, I still use my laundry room for smaller paintings.

J. K. Rowling wrote “Harry Potter” on napkins at work before she became published; at which time, she had the money to buy the proper supplies. Many artists use recycled objects and materials to recreate beautiful one-of-a-kind keepsakes that turn into sales. Beginners and upstart entrepreneurs often improvise and get by until they are established.

We can’t always buy the things we want or think we need before taking the plunge into fulfilling our dreams. Have you heard the expression “grasping at straws?” Those “straws” just might provide the vehicle you need for “lift off.”

One artist began decorating boxes with original art to mail to family and friends. The recipients were so delighted that a light bulb went off in his head. He began designing boxes with creative designs to sell on the Internet. He currently has a successful business simply by starting where he was, and making do with what he had.

Improvising is a budget-wise word that allows us to keep one foot in reality while testing our ideas in the realms of possibility. Watch the children in your life. They have turned improvisation into a science. If they want a house, they simply use whatever they have on hand: a box, a card table, a blanket draped over two chairs, etc. They don’t wait for the perfect time or the perfect tools.

"Work in Progress" acrylic on canvas -- see how it changes!
My first brush carrier was made out of an old pillow case. I folded up the wide hem, stitched the edges, and sewed several pockets into the newly-defined border. The brush handles fit nicely in the pockets. I rolled the packet up and tied it with string for storage and travel; cheap, simple, easy!

Another inventive artist filled a box with empty toilet paper rolls and empty paper towel rolls, taping them together until they were tightly wedged inside. This became her brush holder until she could afford to buy something better.

"A Perfect Ending" 18 x 24 acrylic on canvas

My point is: don’t allow money, perfection, or pride to get in the way of your dreams. Do whatever it takes to make your wishes come true. If you are willing to work hard and to set goals, eventually you’ll have the money to buy whatever you need to further your career.