It is 7 pm in Tulsa and it is 100 degrees. It has been scorching hot in Tulsa for days. I have been moving my shop and it is miserably hot.
I posted a wanted studio add in Craig's list and had an immediate response from an antique dealer on Harvard. It read:
Looking for a "fixer-upper" cheap pottery studio, gallery retail and teaching space. Must have potential and be relatively safe. I need around 1000-1200 square feet. I have had an established pottery business for 17 years in Tulsa and now am out priced in Brookside. Could possibly get other artists to join in with more and interesting space. Please help keep the arts alive in Tulsa.
Call Linda at Brookside Pottery (918) 747-7574.
So I called his landlord and he said "$974 a month" for a fixer upper. No way! I think it is worth about $500 a month and I could improve his property. Dark paneling, 6 foot florescent lights, bad carpet, probably funky smells. parking in the rear and just a few interesting businesses around? I would offer $500 tops in these risky times. I heard a report that Tulsa has the most retail space available since 1973. So, why don't the property owners make a deal, lower the rent and help the economy end this recession or whatever it is?
So, I posted another plea on Craig's list and my husband looked at me, rolled his eyes, and said. "Good luck."
So what did I learn? I felt excited about starting in a new spot with some security of not being evacuated or bulldozed on a daily basis. The spark of entrepreneurship is still in me. I felt happy and excited again when I thought I could start a new shop and build another art community at a reasonable rate.
Giving friends hold there arms open and say, "Let me help you. Just call me." or " I will help you store some stuff in case you need it later." and or "I will give you help moving." Generosity! I thank you all. Even if I don't do it, it is so comforting knowing people really care and will help, if I ask.
OK! Get organized and keep moving even if it is 100 degrees.
A simple life? Can it happen these days? I imagine a clean small studio with empty shelves yearning for new ideas. I have so many ideas, so many projects to create. I don't want to play monopoly, I just want to make art.
I remember as a child, hating to play board games, joining in an annoying monopoly game. I played it fast, spending all my monopoly money and trying to get out of the game and whoosh-I won! Why do I remember that game? Was it a fortune cookie game? Take more risks and don't care.
When I was young, a kid, I had that great American attitude. You can achieve anything you want. Be as rich as you want. And friends tell me that is true and I chose art over money. I made the choice. I chose art. My life, my career! Art at any expense. Who needs money? Yes I need love, lots of love but who needs money? I mostly believe that now except...? My children? College expenses? More stuff.? I don't want to leave them stuff and debt.
Art, I leave them both art. Both children are artists. Creators! Very different from each other but with the love of art and producing it. It is a gift, not a trust fund but a life gift.
I can finally look for more studio space. I am glad I have my stepping stone 740 square feet space. I don't know how long it can last. It will cost $700 to hook up my kiln and I hope it will remain there through at least Christmas. And, if I am really lucky maybe I will be there for a year. The space is a bit polluted but I do have water! Sometimes I dream about owning a barn in the country, an art barn. A big blue art barn full of art materials and time.
Meanwhile it is just hot in Tulsa. 30 days left until I move out of my comfortable spot completely. I really just want to make art, now.
I am making a volunteer list of friends who have made offers. Please remind me if you have volunteered. So many have offered to help and I thought I would remember each and every offer. I spin too much to really remember.
And yes we will party, probably on the last Thursday of August assuming the move is complete and I will try not to cry about where all these folks will celebrate art in their daily lives when my shop changes.
The art and creativity lie within ourselves not in the studio we rent.