"At times I think my coffee and tea addictions truly drive my artistic energy. It’s a small sacrifice for the greater good."

Crazy Artist-Not so crazy

Posted: 10/10/12 | Written by Jeannie | Labels:

Illustration by Jeannie Hart

I got an interesting email that made me think about several things. The email was about work, nothing too fantastic in that statement. They discovered me via About.me and inquired about my credentials. As I crafted the reply, while typing out whom I've worked with or for over the years it hit me—I've had some pretty awesome clients, the problem being, I'm not allowed to say very often who they are.

You see I work (as in 'pay the bills' job) with a lot of sensitive information. Not like national security stuff or anything, just your run of the mill behind the scenes before companies become brands or books about to be released sort of way. Unfortunately, this means that for the most part on things like LinkedIn and About.me I have to be vague. Once done, I update but there are projects that I've been working on for years and I just can't say anything. In other cases, I've worked with wonderful companies that don't mind—when finished with the overall project—if I use their name, however, once more those projects usually take years to finish.

This leaves me with a standard statement when people ask me what I do for a living. I tell people, "I draw." In the last couple of years, this has been my mantra and most people don't delve deeper into it. But I find myself wanting a level of respect that I honestly deserve and struggling with the idea of bragging. I know the definition of bragging is to talk with excessive pride about an achievement or possession. And that's not what the goal is, I mean, I am very proud of the work I do and I work hard. However, being 29 (yes, a woman just told you her age) I'm still being called, 'that crazy artist.' And maybe that's part of the problem, that people see artists as being 'crazy.'

I'm very open with my fine art side life and for most this is the only interaction people have with me when it comes to what I do. People know me as the person who is fun, artsy, and yes, I can carry a conversation about many things. But what they don't see is the many days I work between 10-15 hours to hone my craft. Nor do they understand the amount of knowledge coupled with experience it takes to do what I do. Whether it is branding, illustration, or running a company all they see is the fine art I've produced and the joy that I have. That though, is such a small part of what I do.
Perhaps that is part of the reason why I'm moving. Why now, after several job offers, I'm not afraid of moving. I get to show those who've only known me as the crazy artist that being an artist is not that crazy.