The Artist’s Wife

by Ginger on August 31, 2008

in Marriage, The Artist's Wife

Hi, my name is Ginger, and I’m married to an artist. “Hi Ginger”

My husband, N.C., is an artist. He paints, he draws, he designs, he illustrates. He works on canvas, wood, paper, vinyl toys, and the computer (digital). He does the gallery thing, the freelance thing, the commissioned work thing. And then some. He’s into about 100 different things at any given time, and honestly, it’s exhausting.

I knew this when I married him. I knew this before I married him. We’ve been together for about 8 years at this point, and he’s been into art for at least 20 years, so honestly, I had warning. But the reality of it turns out to be very different from just the idea of it.

In reality, it’s a LOT of work. I know, duh, but seriously I had no real idea of how much work it takes to grow a successful art career. There are those rare anomalies who just hit it big, but they are the exception not the rule. The reality includes a lot of time, money, energy, and stress. We schlep art all over creation (made more difficult by having only one car), we pour money into supplies and expenses, we arrange our schedules and time off around shows, we spend hours marketing/promoting/publicizing, we sacrifice “us time” for the creation of art work. And that’s just the stuff that I have part in.

Within all that, there is a particular role that I play as the artists wife. Ok, make that roles.

I am simultaneously manager, banker, publicist, agent, sounding board, calendar keeper, marketing, administrative assistant, researcher, and let’s not forget nag.

At shows I can be the gatekeeper, the silent partner, the sales person, the acceptor/denier of requests, the one scurrying around setting up/tearing down/getting more wine.

It can be, and often is, a full time job that is currently unpaid. Kind of like the worst internship in the world because your husband is your boss. *shudder* (although he says I’m the one in charge. Ok really? Then I want the weekend off. Damn, denied time off, AGAIN).

I couldn’t do all of that if I didn’t TRULY, 100% believe two things: 1)that he is talented enough to make this work and 2)this is part and parcel of what makes him tick. Sometimes it’s hard, dear lord can it be hard, to postpone, sacrifice, give, do, work for all this. The frustrations are many and run deep. But at the end of the day I believe in him, I know it can happen for him, and I know that when it does, it’s to the benefit of us both.

I just wish we were there already sometimes, ya know?

anna September 1, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Aww, you are a great wife to be so supportive to your husband. It is your accomplishment as well . . . and it does take time but you will get there and enjoy it so much more for having done it together. Hang in there!

Tina Vaziri November 6, 2008 at 5:04 pm

I completely understand where you’re coming from. My bf and I are both artists, and there isn’t ever any real free time because any second we have to spare is another second we should be working on our artwork.

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