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Monday, November 27, 2006

a job, PLUS... what is your job?

I'm looking for a job, a real or real-ish job.

I've been waiting tables since April, which was fine during rafting season, but now that the season is over I feel like a loser... I make very very very little money, no insurance, etc. Some of my co-workers are teenagers! I seriously can't go on like this... some days I only make thirty dollars.

So... what can I do? I am happy to stay in Richmond, or to move pretty much ANYWHERE, in the WORLD. Somebody please send me some leads on opportunities, it doesn't have to be art related at all. I just want to be able to stop riding a squeaky bicycle everywhere. My apartment lease expires December 31st and I'm not renewing it... all options are open.

PLUS - Other artists, I am so curious about what you do for jobs. I know lots of you have cars, houses, children... what are you doing for a living? How did you find your job? PLEASE CLUE ME IN.

Leave a comment, anonymously is fine, telling us what your job is... where you live, what is your income.

Some of my previous work experience is as a bookstore worker, Japanese steel plant inspector, zoo swan-boat attendant, whitewater rafting guide, star reporter. I also worked a few years near Mt Fuji at Kanrisha Yosei Gakko's Jigoku Kunren (Hell Training) camp... you would not believe, seriously.

Without some guidance I am likely to:

A. Go back to Tokyo and enter this program in April. This isn't a job though.
B. Explore the world of desert plant landscaping. This isn't a job either, and my last experience in Phoenix was a disaster. I wish this school was in Albuquerque or Tucson.
C. Join the Army. They have raised the maximum enlistment age to forty-two.
D. Car salesman. This is the only paying job I can find in the newspaper that I might be at all qualified for, even though I've never owned a car (except for that beater I abandoned in Phoenix).

30 comments:

Maryann said...

Do you get a lot of traffic on this blog? Why not allow advertising?

Google AdSense: https://www.google.com/adsense

Text Link Ads: http://www.text-link-ads.com/

P.S. Not a good time to join the armed forces.

Love, Maryann

Anonymous said...

Martin, Its probably time to leave Richmond. It's a DIY type of city....if your not employed by VCU it can be hard to find a job outside the food service industry. I love RVA, but after I graduated I realized that I had to leave. Now, I'm making ends meet as a studio tech/ freelancer in NYC. I know people here with BFAs who teach in city schools, temp, work as bike messengers, and give technical art courses at places like 3rd Ward in Brooklyn.

onesock said...

dont join the army!!
I now teach adjunct positions at two local colleges. But some of the jobs i have had include prep and handling work at galleries and museums, research at a stock photography agency, art framing, general art handling and shipping.
I have a friend who was once a steward for an airline,he enjoyed it because it also helped him travel and do his performance art.

carla said...

In between restaurant work and what I do now, I fell into retail sales for a few years. If it's a good product, and they pay commission, it's not as bad as it sounds. Last year, after 6 months of almost no decorative painting business, I was looking into it again. Then two motherload jobs came through at the same time.

Remember, we in the dark months where everything seems hopeless. (Great time for family-oriented holidays)

Oh yeah, and don't join the army!

carla said...

Not that you sound hopeless...maybe I'm projecting a bit (I really hate this lack of sunlight)

onesock said...

Hey Martin! Lets join the army together! Remember the movie "Stripes"?

Anonymous said...

don't join the army. you are needed on the front lines to make art and be you. we don't want to lose you! come to los angeles, there's always crazy things to do here that pay. or be like me, i have no house or children or savings, but i have a car. don't ask how i pay for that and my food, i really don't know myself. i guess art is about commitment and risk, just like the army. use the force luke.

martin said...

maryann - right now it is monday night, about 10:40pm, and the statcounter thing says i have had 613 unique visitors today. someone told me that the statcounter doesn't keep track of people who might be visiting through rss feeds, or something, so maybe it is higher?

do those ads work? i usually think they look ugly, and never click on them, so i haven't thought about them for myself. i've considered adding some kind of "tip jar".. i've seen a few blogs with those.. but don't imagine that would generate much income.

i am remembering now that i need to get back in touch with you about that related thing...

carla - no, the problem is not hopelessness at all.. it is the opposite. i am so full of hope i am delusional.

martin said...

anonymous los angeles artist - we must have posted at the same time.
moving to los angeles sounds good, is there a lot of work there?

whatever job i do, it is not at all a retreat from the front lines of art! never! no way! i couldn't stop even if i wanted to, i don't think.

let's not twist this around.. i am just looking for a better job. this isn't a "doubting artist" thing.

Judith said...

Martin, it's definitely time to leave Richmond. Why don't you go and move to Knoxville and help Mike out with his Gallery? Maybe you could get work at the university there as well? All part time-like (but you can see how that's worked out for me). Just don't join the army. Bad, Bad option. There is no white water rafting in Baghdad.

Maryann said...

Martin, your readership is probably higher. You can track your rss visitors through Feedburner. I don't know if ads or affiliate programs would work for you, but they're easy to set up and then they run automatically. It's painless to experiment with them, maybe worth a shot?

Let me know about the other thing.

Love - M

martin said...

two people have posted that it is time to leave richmond.. i think both of whom came here for school, graduated, and left.

richmond is not my problem, really. i like richmond, and a suggestion to move to knoxville to help Mike with his gallery, and maybe get work at the local university, is not addressing my money concern. mike is going to pay me? and i don't have an mfa, so i don't know what university job i can get anywhere.

i appreciate the advice from the recent grads, cobbling things together... i am almost forty and have been doing that lots of places for a long time.

i'm just looking for some "real job" leads.. maybe it was not a good idea to post that here.

martin said...

ps - i say i like richmond, which is true... but i understand that almost everybody with an arts-related job in this town gets it through vcu... so i will probably have to leave.

it is kind of suffocating.

los angeles, the southwest, the northeast, tokyo, london, berlin.... take me.

Anonymous said...

la has many industries, and the entertainment industry pays pretty well, productions jobs don't require degrees, a tech support job can be a move-up job in the web industry, etc. i just think you have a lot of chutzpah and that will work for here. there's lots of artist opportunities too, and you can't beat the weather. plus it would be nice to be friends with you in "real life."

michael said...

i'm a librarian. the pay is not the greatest relative to other fields but it covers everything i want and need. its good for doing research for my own work and is fairly stress free for me at least. mls programs are a piece of cake and will often be paid for by the library system that you work for, at least here in nyc. you can finish the degree in 2 years if you go full time but it took me 4 bc i was working full time at the library. and the cardigans, need i say more. btw thanks for the post card.

Anonymous said...

hey Martin,
i know we are meant to be in a beef right now, but i will call a brief truce...

i am sure you have heard it many times before but if you are interested in a career in or around the arts and you don't have an MFA (ruling out a teaching position until you are rich and famous enough to not really need one) you must think seriously about moving to NYC, London, or maybe LA. I understand you like Richmond, but the streets here are paved with gold. Shit, even a fool like me can live fof the fat of that land here! i haven't done an honets days work in three years, that leaves plenty of time to devote to art.

MaryD said...

I'm not an artist. But I am self-employed and living in Richmond.

I found the book Making a Living Without a Job by Barbara Winter to be very helpful when making the decision to go out on my own. It may inspire you to find multiple income sources from things you love to do.

I have no connection to the author or publisher - just think it's a great book.

Anonymous said...

I like your work and your blog. Don't join the Army. I've been selling my work on eBay since 2000, and it has allowed me to paint and support my family. www.galleryant.com

exu said...

thanks for bringing this up-I am "living" off alimony,shortly to end-help---I make architectural models from time to time,live in a town full of overqualified underacheivers-never worked in food service-my son does,he's 18 and hopefully will not get sucked into money/party-am painting while I can!or fiddling while Rome burns?Also volunteer at animal shelter,cheaper than therapy-

Cristina said...

martin, okay i won't lie. i don't know much about art jobs up here, and it seems like a great deal of it is tied up in graphic design and other computer-based avenues. but the cost of living in baltimore is either the same or slightly lower than in richmond, so you would expect similar bills, rents, etc. it's a big city in a small way...like, it's certainly not new york, but compared to richmond, baltimore is massive. i think if i actually lived in the city (rather than slightly outside of it) i would like it a lot. we have johns hopkins up here, which i'm sure has tons of jobs. there is an art high school where you could probably get a job teaching because something like seventy percent of the staff is adjunct (aka "real artists"). MICA is here, and we have a utrecht store so there are always good art supplies around. there are also tons of printing/advertising type businesses. if you know how to run the giclee printer, you're probably qualified enough to work for some such business. it might not be what you want for long term, but in the meantime, you know? anyway, it's only 150 miles from richmond, so you wouldn't necessarily lose all of your richmond connections, and there are probably plenty of people down there who could reference some contacts for you here. driving is a pain in the ass, but there are always plenty of crossing guards around. you don't even need a car. there isn't a metro, but there is the light rail. i live about seven miles out of the actual city, and there's a light rail station pretty close by, if that gives you an idea of its helpful-ness. plus there is the bus. and we have crime and crackheads and packs of children, and all the tourists are crawling all over the inner harbor, but you expect that kind of thing. there are a LOT of industrial business here...it is definitely still an industrial city, although business is growing.

i don't know if this is at all helpful. it's cheaper here than in NYC, and and it's halfway between richmond and philly. so yeah. i don't know if it sounds right or not, but it's something to consider. it's very different than richmond, but there is a familiarity about it. and we have a zoo! which has white rhinoceros, which i think is something that should be seriously considered.

Anonymous said...

Martin -
There is plenty of work anywhere for someone with your enthusiasm and talent. I think the MLS suggestion is excellent of maybe a part time gig at one of the big book stores? Those places offer benefits if you like it and went full time.

I am in a similar dilemna. My strategy for making a living needs revising!

Kai said...

Hi Martin, Move somewhere awesome like New York and assume that good work will fall into your lap. After a couple of years, it has to. Or, move to Las Vegas and learn to plumb new home construction. It's easy, no poop plumbing, and you get lots of money. +Dave Hickey's there.
I remember Stripes, that sounds fun too. If you decide to go with tha

mike said...

Kai's right, plumbing new construction rules!! I do it at least 5 days a week and it helps fund my gallery and studio. sweet deal. you should play the lottery and after you win buy a RV and road trip everywhere. most importantly... go with your heart... wallpaper... thats right wallpaper. it is calling your name martin. martin. martin. martin. martin. martin. martin. martin. martin. martin. martin.

martin said...

i buy a megamillions ticket almost every week.

mike - mark my words, wallpaper is COMING BACK!

Anonymous said...

Come to tokyo martin! It's a beautiful place and you can do better than 30 bucks.

martin said...

brent - i know! i lived in japan for eight years!

right now i seem to be mostly considering a return to places i have previously lived and liked, and know many people, rather than someplace completely new.

philadelphia
tokyo
vermont/upstate ny area
albuquerque

i'm really interested in the idea of LA, but definitely do not have enough money to both move AND buy a car at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Martin, I didn't know that!
like that woman said in matrix, you've already made the choice. You just have to know that you have... something like that--love that line, love it.

Anonymous said...

I think you could consider moving elsewhere. If you are willing, you can live in NY or LA, but you would probably work (at a job) a lot of the time to pay rent. Otherwise, there are some great cities that are not so expensive. I live in SF, and it's really expensive here, but I love it. I lived in Philadelphia and it was ok, but I was 23 at the time. I just went back and all my old friends were depressed. I love Tokyo! I know that there is not a single good art store in Durham, NC and they are dying for someone to start one...
Here are some good job links:
http://www.nyfa.org/
http://www.inliquid.com/ (then click "resources")
http://www.callingmarcel.com/
http://www.smfa.edu/Student_Life/Professional_Development/View_artSource_Listings/Employment_Opportunities/Index.asp

good luck!
Thanks also for mentioning my work in your blog- that's how I found you. Mel
PS I teach extended ed, do talks, catering, sell a little art, spend not very much money....

beebe said...

Sorry to comment on such an old post but...

I work full time as a graphic designer. About ten years ago, I bullshitted my way into a entry-level position not long after I got out of undergrad (Major: drawing, emphasis on figure drawing) and learned everything on the job. Seriously, I knew NOTHING when they hired me. It's tedious but the pay is decent (if you live frugally) and I get benefits, vacation days, etc. I have to push studio practice into the evenings and weekends...but the job pays for the studio. And it beats tending bar, loading trucks for UPS, working in a born again Christian bakery or any other of the lousy jobs I had in my 20s.

And my current job is slow enough that I can go back and read Anaba's archives....

beebe

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