Since my previous employer (of 14 years, but really, who is counting?) decided to liberate me from my hard-won desk some 18 months ago, I have struggled when confronted with the "OCCUPATION _________" found on so many forms, online and otherwise. I do a bit of this and a bit of that...I'm an IT consultant for X, now for Y. I'm an aspiring (or emerging, as I like to write...it sounds so...up-and-comingesque) fine-art photographer, but would clearly deign to do a wedding or two (but no children or other people's pets, please). I also volunteer and contribute intellectual time to non-profits (meaning, if they weren't NPOs I'd expect some money). In between all this activity, I do a little yard work and perhaps soon, some house cleaning. So, do I have a career anymore? Are careers passé? Tina Brown of the Daily Beast thinks perhaps so...http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-01-12/the-gig-economy/full/.
On a personal level, I'm enjoying the new lifestyle, if not the feast/famine of billable time. There is an appearance of high risk if one plays in this gig economy. Where is the next job going to come from? When am I going to sell another framed print? But gainful full-time employment only seems risk-free. An illusion of course. In an employ-at-will job market, the axe can come at any time, for any reason. No surprises now...I know what I'm in for.
19 June 2009
...OK, that's a bit of hyperbole. But, it is nice winning an award at the first judged submission I have participated in. That award being the Juror's Choice is icing on the proverbial cake. I submitted 5 B&W images to SAAN's Downtown Gallery (http://www.saansdowntown.com/index.html) and was happy that all 5 were accepted. To then be honored with the 1st place leaves a very satisfied feeling. The reception tonight was a very nice affair with lots of people flowing in and out of the gallery. Good conversations followed with several other photographers. One such was about pricing of images. I have perseverated quite a bit over this and have always felt that fine art can be affordable. But where is the line between affordable and expensive? Someone once said (well, okay, it was Tom at SAAN's, with tongue in cheek) that you need to price art just low enough so that it sells. There is, I think, a reverse phenomena that presumes that fine art must be priced high, otherwise, perhaps, it is not fine art. Name recognition pushes this presumption as well. What am I to make of a very nice print next to my very nice print with an extra zero separating them in cost? Mine under-priced? Theirs over-priced? Both? Neither? Well, I reject the latter answer at least. There is also the argument that price, for art, really doesn't matter. I reject this as well, at least without modification. Someone who loves a piece of work and is inclined to spend say $150, would also be inclined to spend $250 or perhaps $350, but $1500? There is a line somewhere and it is different for each buyer and of course starts with where the seller places it initially. And now we are back to Tom and his aphorism! I'll perseverate a bit on this and perhaps while I do so, a sale or two will transpire.
Posted by Jeff Clay at 22:34
18 June 2009
Found browsing the Salt Lake Tribune online edition a short piece entitled "Holy heck! Lightning blasts Angel Moroni at new temple" (http://www.sltrib.com/ci_12595131). A phenomena of our current 24/7, info-gulping, opine-yapping, ever-online culture is that those 7 sentences can yield 453 comments in the course of 2+ days. The event itself becomes a metaphor for local culture skirmishes as well as the larger and ever-blooming God is Dead/God is Everywhere battles. Not having read the 453 posts (after all I have a blog to write and even some "real' work as well!), I must wonder how much repetition and me-too-listen-here-I-gots-an-important-opinion is going on in those virtual reams of comments. I did find a few witticisms -- such as the title of this post -- but after the first page, mining for nuggets of cleverness (much less truthiness) becomes weary. What prompts us to fling our words (and time) into the online void, full well knowing that scant few will ever read them? Don't ask me...I have to update my Facebook status now.
Posted by Jeff Clay at 08:24
17 June 2009
...well, perhaps not THE beginning. Nonetheless, taking a page from my daughter (http://jessgoestohollywood.blogspot.com/), I have begun another "connections" experiment. Will this go the way of so many other blogposts (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/fashion/07blogs.html)? Je ne sais pas. All I know is that what with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picassa, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Dopplr and my own www.clayhaus.net site, I'm spending a boatload of time trying to establish and/or maintain connections/information, etc. It's a full-time job and no one is even paying me for it!
Posted by Jeff Clay at 22:35