Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me, Arty Stuff?

I need to make more money. There’s really no doubt about that. I have a lot of expenses and can’t afford any of them. I owe friends money that I can’t afford to pay back. Being poor really sucks. Money, as has been the case since I started working at fifteen, is the bane of my existence. It is my largest source of worry.

I’ve been thinking lately about what I can do to make more of it. I’ve been trying to get a new job that pays me a livable wage with no success. I’ve been selling my little drawings on Redbubble, and while I’ve made over 60 sales (thank you), I haven’t made as much money as I had hoped. It’s barely enough to buy a tank of gas to get to my day job, let alone quit my day job.

Instead of Redbubble doing all the work and making all the money, I thought about selling my art myself. In order to make any real money though, I need to sell originals instead of just infinite prints.

I am a master drawer. I know that sounds like hubris, but it isn’t. Give me a pencil and I can create anything. I have completely mastered the following mediums: graphite, carbon, charcoal, Conté crayon, oil pastel, pastel. I can do things like this:

Hello there.
Hello there.

I was so good at it that it got boring and I kind of stopped doing it. I started painting. I suck at painting. This is what I can do with paint:

Again, I apologize for the crappy photography.
I apologize for the crappy photography. I suck at photography more than paint.

I call him three coat man because he is composed of three coats of acrylic paint. I was going to finish him, but I liked him in that state, just a head poking out from a sea of white gesso. He’s not even stretched on canvas. He lives on a large, uneven swath of gessoed canvas that is thumb-tacked to my wall.

I am no good at painting, but that’s why I like it. I enjoy it because I’m bad at it. I’m not sure if that makes any sense.

I now live in a house with a ridiculous amount of room. Really, it’s quite more room than I could ever possibly need. I really don’t understand how people live in mansions. What do you do with all that space? I would feel bad for all the rooms that don’t get used.

Since I have all this room, I decided to make a little arty area for myself. I dug through my stuff for my art supplies.

I found a ridiculous amount of oil paint, which is really strange since I hate oil paint. That stuff never dries. I have two giant tubes of black. Why would someone who doesn’t paint in oil ever need not one, but two giant tubes of black oil paint?

I found watercolor paper and watercolor paint, which is really strange since I hate watercolor. It’s too transparent, messy and easily mutable. I really don’t like watercolor, but I have all the supplies for some reason.

What I didn’t find was anything useful. It’s as if all of the art supplies I use most have disappeared.

I found a couple of round Loew-Cornell brushes, a 3/0 and a 5, and a long-handled, expensive Winsor & Newton fan brush with real wood handle, which is really strange since I hate fucking fan brushes. What is the point of a fan brush? Seriously, I’ve never understood fan brushes.

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I used to have a fabulous set of Faber-Castell graphite pencils. There were twelve grades of hardness. Nobody needs twelve grades of hardness. Three or four is fine.

Mmmmm. Image via dickblick.com.
Image via dickblick.com.

For those of you not in the know, Faber-Castell is the Cadillac of pencils. At least, in my professional opinion, they are the best. I can’t find them. As far as pencils, this is all that I found:

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One white Conté pastel pencil from a pack of two, still in the package; one standard No. 2 Tweety bird pencil, unsharpened; one red Caran D’ache colored pencil; four assorted Conté pastel pencils obviously from a set that is missing; two charcoal pencils, 6B and 2B; and one 6B graphite pencil. One graphite pencil. Graphite is my bread and butter and I found one pencil. One.

I used to have a relatively full selection of acrylic paint, the kind I used to create Mr. three coat man up there. This is the sum of acrylic paint I was able to find:

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One nearly empty tube of titanium white, one tube of medium azo yellow, one nearly new tube of carbon black and one tube of thalo bronze. Bronze. Why in hell would I need bronze?

What I didn’t find were any primary colors or anything useful at all really. Note that each of those paint tubes is from a different maker.

I also found one unused tube of black gouache. One tube of gouache. Black.

In order to make money, you have to spend money, which really sucks when you are a poor struggling artist because we never seem to have the money to spend. Art supplies are really expensive and it seems that most of mine are missing. SUCK!!!

I decided to spend my Redbubble earnings on art supplies. I had to stock up again. And stock up, I did:

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I bought four Faber-Castell PITT woodless graphite pencils, those gorgeous black things on the left. Those retail at $5 each. I paid $2.55 each for them. I spent $10.20 on four pencils, ounce for ounce, my biggest splurge. I bought a new set of Wolff’s carbon pencils, a new set of General’s charcoal pencils, and a new (cheap-ass) set of brushes.

I bought four tubes of acrylic: cobalt blue, mixing white, titanium white and permanent rose. Since I already had the yellow and black, I can create any color I want now.

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Goldfish is back in business. Now, I just have to create something.

I’m asking you, yes you, what would you like me to make? I am taking commissions. Starting at $100 or more if you’re feeling generous, I will create anything you’d like. I can draw your dog, your children or a sunset. You can own your very own, one of a kind Goldfish created just for you and help a struggling artist out of debt, so win-win. Send me a message on the about page for serious offers.