Recently I went with my mother and her friend for a day playing tourist in Florence (about an hour on the train for me:). We visited the Galleria degli Uffizi. I’m not by any means an aficionado of renaissance art but it’s hard not to be totally in awe of such a vast collection of painted and sculpted expressions of the human soul.
Having spent almost six years working on my album I feel a certain kinship across the centuries with anyone who would court poverty, ridicule and worse simply to say something they passionately believe through paint and canvas.
That said, I’m sure plenty of these guys did very well out of their church commissions – and would have painted almost anything if it paid well enough…
It does make me think very seriously about who my patrons are. Rather than a pious yet controlling church, or a ruthless and powerful 15th Century Italian family, I’ve chosen first the support of my mother, then my meager abilities as a yoga teacher. Later on I used music teaching and coaching and finally I’ve settled rather reluctantly on my computing degree.
It’s interesting to me that in the first three cases it was very difficult for the recipient of my services to ‘misuse’ them in any way. In other words, apart from annoying their neighbors a bit with their relentless practice, my music students weren’t going to do anyone any harm…
However, my far more lucrative job as a web developer and online marketeer potentially find me building websites for a total psycho who ripped off his clients… …provided he paid well!
Actually, this is the point of this blog post because I really haven’t let that happen. Through a combination of luck and stubbornness I’ve usually ended up with clients who are genuinely good people. However, they invariably had a tendency to go round in circles – always wanting to improve their situation but reliably settling back where they started. This energy has naturally filtered through into my music career and I believe it has been the main single factor that has held me back.
However, I’m currently working with a bunch of people who are genuinely trying to change the and their world for the better. What I’m hoping is that this energy, like those energies before it, will filter through into my performing and writing – and give me the boot I need to succeed!
I’ve sometimes berated myself for being willing to take money from certain sources in order to support myself but I can now see that just like the artists of the renaissance who relied on the Medici family or the roman catholic church to pay for their work, my art is intellectually and emotionally a product of that which has supported it – financially and otherwise.
So, by that logic, yoga & music teaching and helping a few people reach the market with their product sounds like a pretty good collection of vibes to me!