THE JOYS OF AN ARTIST AND PHOTOGRAPHER: / by Natasja De Wet

Thank you Les for photographing my load of work, you love your job as much as I do mine!

 My vehicle/car (tiny VW) double up as a 'van' and that is why I chose my nifty little car.

My vehicle/car (tiny VW) double up as a 'van' and that is why I chose my nifty little car.

 At Les Hammond's studio, loving every minute of discovering what is needed to complete this work!

At Les Hammond's studio, loving every minute of discovering what is needed to complete this work!

 Les worked nonstop to photograph miniatures and massive work like this '10m-plus' work on paper.

Les worked nonstop to photograph miniatures and massive work like this '10m-plus' work on paper.

Yes! I do love my job; it is a job like any other job or career. Professional artists conceptualize, plan, source, buy media, sometimes recycled media or mediums to work with and scavenge nature and second hand shops and my favourite, the hardware store. We do administration and paper work, (I must confess paperwork is not my best), pay our taxes, we promote ourselves and yes, marketing is of utmost importance nowadays, (in my opinion). Sometimes it feels like we are prostituting ourselves, by using social media; pinning, sharing, over-sharing, email, tweet, and using Instagram etc. Some of us do put our social masks on and visit gallery openings, because that is part of networking. We visit galleries all over the country/world when we can so that our galleries do not forget our faces or connect with the person behind the artwork. And then we make/create artwork, build up stock, have the work photographed, deliver work, have solo exhibitions and group exhibitions. We have families like most people and most of us have second jobs, I chose facilitating Workshops. Some families of artists do not understand what the passion, obsession and having to create is about and often urges them to go out and find a real job, which is so sad and discouraging. So we have to believe in ourselves and keep going because not many ‘normal’ people get what being creative is about. Such a pity because some artists do need encouragement and it would be wonderful to be appreciated, acknowledged and accepted for what we are doing beyond all odds. What would the history of the world look like without art right from the beginning of time?