Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Two sides of the same coin

My (writing) life continues on its runaway course and I have to admit that it’s getting to me.

We all have to make a living. Some of us are lucky, grasped the brass ring as it came by (or was even offered), and have since been able to indulge our writing passion as a full-time job. I make it a point to try not to be envious, but there are times, like now, where I almost can’t help it.

My work life at the moment (and for the foreseeable future) is in the graphic design world. It was not a course I set out to follow early in life. It’s just something that happened to me while I wasn’t really paying attention. It’s not that I don’t have training in it. I worked for 11 years with a supremely talented designer and he was very gracious with his patient explanations as to why this worked and that didn’t. I’ll never have the ability and flair that he did, but I honed what skills I do have to the point where I can now do a very workmanlike job.

What I want to do, though, is write! I squeeze in a little time here, a little there, but it’s ultimately not very satisfying. When it takes two weeks to complete a chapter, that’s not a good thing. You lose the thread. You lose the feel. You lose heart.

However, my wife and I spent the past weekend with Tony Luciani, a good friend who is an incredibly talented painter, I mean as in world class talented. Being able to sit and chat with someone who’s in a related creative field was very refreshing for me. He’s struggling, too, but in his case it’s from the reality that because of economic concerns people aren’t spending on art. Tony’s works aren’t inexpensive.

Still, he works on and has recently completed four incredible canvases in a series he’s commenced. Sort of like us, isn’t it? Most crime writers work in a series setting. He faces many of the same dilemmas and it was interesting to talk to him about it. But in the end, we creative sorts in the arts face the same basic dilemma: how to keep body and soul together when you what you want to do in life is create.

In my case, I don’t have the time to do it. I can’t justify turning down a client in order to find the time to write. Sure, I putter along, but it’s driving me nuts! I have all these things waiting to get out and there aren’t enough hours in the day to allow me to do it. I make a living, but at what cost to my creative soul?

Tony, on the other hand, is completely committed to spending his life following his muse. His paintings are fantastic, I mean that sincerely. If I ran across something of his in a museum and didn’t know him personally, I would certainly stop and look anyway. Even though life is a bit of a struggle for him at the moment, Tony is keeping the faith.

Regardless, I have to admit that I’m envious.

Tony's website is well worth a visit: www.tonyluciani.ca


Vicki Delany said...

Good post, Rick. You've really bared your soul. Stick with it, you know you have the talent. And that painting is simply fantasic.

Vicki Delany said...

I'll add that Rick is too modest. He's a great graphic designer and because he's a writer himself he really knows what appeals.

Donis Casey said...

Add to all of that having a family that one wants to spend time with and children who need raising - my hat is off to you for being able to finish books at all.

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