Friday, April 24, 2009

Blog Envy: Maira Kalman

Check out illustrator Maira Kalman's And the Pursuit of Happiness Blog with the New York Times. Not only am I envious of her beautiful and truly original blog, my jealousy extends all the way to her successful career. 

It never occurred to me you could be what Maira Kalman is. (I would put Christopher Niemann in the same category.) Actually, that's a lie. When I was in elementary school, I was going to be a painter. But once I got a little older, and I discovered that I was really good at school,  I stopped believing that the art that comes out of me naturally could be pursued as a career. 

No, not could, should. You have one bad experience scooping ice cream and you make bee-line to a stable and profitable professional identity.

I have several friends who are pursuing graduate degrees in the arts. It strikes me as impractical. Upon graduation, are there recruiters waiting to hire painters, photographers, and filmmakers? I mean, you kind of have to have a plan to pay off the tens of thousands of dollars you've spent on credits, right? I suppose that is not the spirit in which this particular form of higher education is pursued. 

I still wonder what it is I want to be when I grow up, and I still have a hard time pinning down the answer. I think it's because, truly, I want to be an artist, but I don't yet know how to reconcile that with my intense drive to be successful, and let's face it, remunerated. 

But one thing is taken care of: I already have my studio picked out. It's in an old factory building in Rahway: fifth floor, corner office, wall of windows, over looking a little green space. I pass it every day on the train home, and wonder how it is I'll end up arriving there.

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