Dear Fellow Starvelings,
No complaints about being a starving artist this time around, in this year when tragedy seems always to be hanging out just around the corner for everyone everywhere, ready to pounce on innocent people all over the world in all manner of hideous ways. I may not have money to give, but I do have a voice, and I’m very grateful that I can use it: to counter lies with truth, to speak out when I see wrongdoing, to support candidates of my choice — and to use my right to vote, because voting, too, is speech.
In fact, I’m grateful for a number of things. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get sappy on you. It’s just that … well, let’s see. I’ve got a roof over my head, I’ve got a spouse who loves me (there’s no accounting for taste, I guess), and our family is completed by our two endearingly demanding kitties. We have books, we have music, we have humor (although that last quality is lost on those same playful but non-jocular cats). We have the internet, which helps us to make a living as well as to entertain us and allow us to make friends with folks all over the world, who tell us what life is really like in their countries. We are world-travelers, snug in our office. Our real community is pretty great, too — colleges, galleries, the beautiful expanse of forest, the beautiful ribbons of rivers.
And I have art supplies coming out the wazoo. Clearance sale by clearance sale, thrift shop find by thrift shop find, I’m finally almost satisfied with the number of color pencils, oil pastels, heavyweight paper, paints, brushes, and sundry other necessities which are now overtaking my work table.
I only have one problem right now, and I wonder if any of you guys have ever had it. I love my art supplies so much I hesitate to use them, for fear (I tell myself) that I’ll use them all up on unworthy projects and never have enough money to replace them. I know it’s silly. When you have art supplies, USE THEM! Don’t let them dry out, or get lost, or even break because of their precarious positions in piles of fragile stuff.
At least I have a project in mind, which I hope I’ll be talking about next time.
Faithfully, The Starving Artist