Chicago-based painter and art educator Lorraine Peltz sums it up for most artists when she compares being an artist to breathing.
Chandelier Green Stripe
Are you happy as an artist right now?
I would have to say yes, though I never really think in those terms. Being an artist is just what I am, and like breathing, it is an essential element of my life. It's one of the many roles I have, shaping how I see and interpret the world around me and all that I do. I have always felt very fortunate to be an artist, all my experiences seem to have come to me because of it.
Is this a time of growth for you?
The recession can still be felt everywhere, but you are still creating wonderful work. How have you been affected?
These questions seem best addressed together--despite the current economic downturn this past year has been very busy, productive, and positive for me. I've had solo exhibitions in New York, (Cheryl McGinnis Gallery), San Francisco, (Micaela Gallery) Florida, (Rosenbaum Contemporary) and in Verona, Italy (Incorniciarte) and have been included in some group exhibitions and art fairs (Scope Basel, ArtHamptons. My dealers have sold my work and I have received some grants, so I can't complain. My thought is that you keep at it, keep working, and see what comes next.
Is making art working out? Do you need to have a day job?
I've taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for the past 15 years, and have always taught in conjunction with being an artist. For me, teaching is more than a day job, really, it is another element in the artist equation. At SAIC I am surrounded by other artists, my students - young emerging artists, and my colleagues - some also young and emerging, others quite established. Each encounter is often another opportunity to further that creative dialogue. It's work, yes, a job, yes, and it takes me away from the studio, but it also gives me something back - I have always found it to be a good mix for me.
What do you think of the art world right now?
I see the art world as an exciting place where many ways of being an artist are possible and acceptable. The people I admire in the art world are those that find ways to continue to be inventive, productive, and excited no matter what the economic climate is. Who'll survive? Those who are in it for the long run.