Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Economic downturn? Turn to an artist

Times are tough. More and more folks I run into feel that 2009 may be the worst year they have ever seen financially -- and seemingly spiritually. Even taking into account the amazing Obama victory and the feeling it gives, that the best is yet to come -- folks are more rundown and afraid than they were the day before election day. This comes as no surprise to my artist friends and I -- as we've seen it coming for years.

But then again, artists have the time to think about these things while everyone else is working day-in day-out, nose to the grindstone. With health insurance premiums and mortgages to pay these salt of the earth folks are the backbone of America but when hard times come and that steady job and its secure feeling 401k evaporate overnight the average person does not know how to live so close to the bone, without a safety net if you will.

You want to know how to live without a net without losing your mind or health? Ask your artist friends. These road-less-traveled comrades might not have the nest-egg you have or even know what home-equity really feels like but then again they sure know how to make a good-full life without a single bit of "security".

Now, I’m not talking about the trust-fund artist who chooses when (and when not) to have money, I’m talking about that friend of yours who seems to be just as happy as you where when you had it all, even when they seem to have nothing tangible at all. How do they do it? How do they stave off the “big fear”?

Simple, they've got no choice and have learned over the years that the 99 cent store is the place to buy the stuff you don’t care about and Trader Joe's can help with the rest. Artists invest in themselves instead of consumer goods. They join a gym and go 5 days a week, taking advantage of every class and amenity instead of buying an expensive piece of home exercise equipment -- that keeps you at home and out of the networking and flirty flow of life. They turn tough times into great art and entertainment or at least they try. Maybe it’s easier for artists to feel less effected in tough times because they have far less stuff to lose you say. You’re probably right but then again no one can foreclose on your creativity and in the end we are only what we have from the skin inward. Invest in thyself and if you've got any extra leftover -- invest in those you love. Or you can always buy yourself an bunch of gold Krugerrand and hide under your bed.

Keep your chin up, protect your nest and invest in yourself. The sun shall shine again and we all want to look good in that bathing suit the day it does.

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