Saturday, February 28, 2004

Buddha Moment�

If you want to be a parent, remember that your children are guaranteed to take upon themselves aspects of your character, good or bad. So while you live, it's best to keep as close to some Golden Mean as you can. Your children will benefit. And the world will certainly thank you for fewer dysfunctional basket cases to carry and nurture past their appointed span. Basket cases like me.

The Days of Rice and Salt

One- Double Takes
Finished the commissioned painting and managed to get it to my client. Set the paydate to about a week from yesterday. Was v. happy about how my life was turning around. Then I get a call later, in the evening. Client complaining that the kid in the painting looks unlike the kid in the photograph he gave me. As artist, am v. annoyed, insulted even. Had to bite back choice retort--

"If you wanted an exact likeness, you should have
a.) told me from the outset; or
b.) gotten me to photograph kid instead."

But as what customer says goes, I promised to rework the painting to his satisfaction in ff. week. Apparently, customer forgot that he gave me free rein in the conceptualization and execution of piece: reason I charged so low in the first place. Am now v. painfully aware of why portraitists along Recto charge so bloody much and why copywriters and production artists need account executives.

Have half a mind to just give him the painting as goodwill gift (kid in painting still looks like kid in photo no matter what his dad says) and be done with it. Might just do that, as gut is screaming that this guy will probably never be satisfied. Best to head off crisis before friendship goes to hell.

Moral lesson: need more practice as portraitist; whip out written contract before taking job order..

Two- Same Old, Same Old
Have been working for a publicist on the sly for the better part of two weeks. Job involves writing, generally promoting this or that product, or making this or that talent smell as sweet as roses to potential audiences. Knew that this was part time gig, probably would need more contacts if I was to sustain myself like this. But, as knew it was a start that challenged and made somewhat fulfilled, I was v. happy about the way my life was turning.

Friday arrives: payday. Previous deal with employer involves dropping off payment at store I was helping him promote. I text him for confirmation (will we meet today?) but it never comes. Get a text message from him asking for bank account number. I don't have one. Can't open one because bank always looking for proofs of my existence that I no longer have-- driver's license, school ID, passport, company ID. With what, by the by, am I supposed to open an account? The play money I keep in my wallet as some sort of shamanic ritual to bring actual money into my life? Really royally ticked off.

Problem easy to solve but will need to consult with someone to do so. Still, am not happy, as am having same feeling I had when working (no, bleeding) for CCCom and waiting two to three months for compensation. "If I did so well, why do I feel so shortchanged?"

Three- Islam Means Surrender
If Mom and Pop knew about this, they would be crowing, cavorting in a victory dance. "See, son? We were right and you were wrong. Our way is the best way to love/work/live. Submit! We're your parents so stop rebelling." Last I checked I was v.v. thirty, and should no longer be subject to this crap. Why I started moving out in the first place.

Side note: Everyone concerned at home again, by the by. And quite vocal about it. Wondering what I'm up to, voicing the old refrain: Dex is in trouble. (What's new? Dex is always in trouble, by their lights.) That's the trouble with gradually moving out instead of declaring a break from home in one go. Plusses: more time to move out your belongings and you still get some funding. Minuses: more opportunities to be asked questions you're not ready to answer. It bugs me v. much that I am still v. much a child.

Beginning to wonder if this is all that my occupational inclinations and skills have to offer me-- a choice between dying in jobs I hate or doing what I do best but having to put up with delayed payments and feelings of powerlessness and dissatisfaction. Epiphany not enough to make me fall on my own knife just yet.

Ah well. Fallen on face. Time to get up again. Even if it is to more falling on face. Not as if I ain't used to it.

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