I took art in college. After college, I lived a good number of years on art alone. But that was in Kenya. I even had people work for me.
The industry though, just like any other has it's up and downs. It has it's winds and therefore you ought to be a good sailor to adjust the sails in regard to the direction of the winds. It's in one storm that I found myself in Greece. After I had arrived and learnt a few Greek words, I went from art gallery to the other looking for one that could buy my artworks. I found none. The best answer I remember from most of them is that they take art from Greek painters only. The more I continued searching, the more disappointed I got. How was I to survive?
It is at that point that I found my way to an island (read the article here).
You must know that for an artist, he does not sell a painting every single day. Hence if he sells one, it ought to be well priced to cover the days he does not sell. If you ever heard that art is expensive, that could be one of the reasons.
The tricky part is, for an artist to successfully sell his art at high prices, he has to have been known. Famous artists sell at a very high price. Some amateur artists, in order to make a name would make very simple quick paintings and sell them at the lowest price possible to anybody willing to buy. Maybe there is some sense in that. But what rang in my mind at this point is what one fellow artist had once told me.
"If you are going to sell your artworks at the price of sukumawiki, then you better go sell sukumawiki at their price and later sell paintings at their real value when that time comes."
Sukumawiki is kale.A staple food in Kenya that is readily available and fairly priced. People will always eat and hence food will always sell.
After I came from the island back to Athens, I had to find a way of survival. Art was out of question and sukumawiki is not famous in Greece.
It is at this point I remembered what my dad always used to tell me.
"Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might, because there is neither work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, the place where you will eventually go."
- Ecclesiastes 9:10
Armed with this ancient wisdom, I find that I can do anything I am able to do with my hands and do it with enthusiasm and joy without complaining. It doesn't have to be what I went to college for. I have seen so many people living a life of pity and even going into depression just because they have never found the job that fits their qualifications in college. You don't have to be one of them. Be open to opportunities. Especially if you are in a challenging point in life or location.
This was one of those points.
When Friday came, I went and bought the Athens News again but I could find nothing suitable. However, I saw the section where they list recruitment agencies. I identified one that I had seen in Kenya (Manpower). My brother had got a job through them back then. But he had a good cv. I hadn't met an artist with a cv yet. As far as I was concerned, Manpower dealt only with white-collar jobs. I decided to try them though(you never know until you try). I looked for their Athens office and courageously walked there to ask them for a job. The only documents I had with me were my id and newly received work permit.
With confidence(**important), I walked into their offices and said I was there to look for a job. To be frank, I was inwardly expecting to be turned away. Instead, I was told to wait at the reception and a staff was to come see me. After five minutes, she came and asked me what job I was looking for to which I answered... "Any job I can do with my hands."(not recommended).
She then started mentioning several handyman jobs of which I consented. She then asked me to fill in an application form to have in their database. After that I left for home.
One week later I receive a call. It was from Manpower. I was informed that there is a job for me to work in an aluminium storehouse in Koropi. I was given the address and asked to be there Monday morning.
Monday morning comes and I am there at my new job. The rest is history.
That's how I got that job.
Are you looking for a job? Maybe you should try the recruitment agencies. Your job could just be there.