As an author and artists I spend much of my time in transit. My work involves more than sitting in my art studio creating new work or tapping on my key board. It does not walk out the door and sell itself. As an artist I am also a sales person and public speaker. This part of my job requires me to create interest in my work.
Sure! It begins sitting at my key board typing expressions of interest for galleries and cataloguing my work, however once accepted by a gallery or competition my work needs to go to the framer and be delivery to the gallery as spelt out in the terms of my contract. There are also media interviews and openings to attend.
The neat part of being an artist is I get to do some travel, mostly to attend interstate conferences. Transporting artwork for me means juggling large volumes of artwork to and from galleries. So by now you’re worked out my work hours are not 9 am to 5 pm. Most of my work commitments are after 5 pm and that’s where the nightmare begins.
I am an artist living with disability, requiring support to manage mostly independent living tasks, living independently is not easy when you can’t just jump in a car and drive to your destination. I am one person in Ipswich who is certainly looking forward to transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, known as the NDIS.
Currently I juggle four individuals support services with restrictions on how and when the services can be utilised. My weekly supports are more or less fixed and everything else is juggled around my supports. Oh not to mention support after 8pm and public holidays is very had to secure and often I need to call on the assistance of friends.
Lost in transition is a common occurrence friends are horrified I wait for over 1 hour for a maxi taxi with no other option after 8 pm. However most days, somehow I make this work. Spacing out, my appointments to allow for delays. One of my major concerns I endeavour to push to the back of my mind is what if I have a seizure? It is always a possibility and life in transit and the pressure to be on time plays a toll.
I never use my disability as excuses to be late, my job demands I am reliable and on time. Until now juggling transport with support times and restrictions in travel has been a nightmare. Taxis are unreliable, medical transport needs to be pre-book and you are told the night before pick-up times. If support workers are delayed . . . sorry I am only human, there are days that end in meltdowns.
Life as an artist in transited is never boring. Good thing I like a challenge!