Posted in Knitting
May 30, 2009

Earn a living with art? What?

This is really exciting for me — I was recently interviewed for an e-book called the Unconventional Guide to Art and Money, which deals with ways to actually earn a living from your work and much more. (Click here for more information, or to order).

I’ve just read the final product for myself and I have to say I am impressed — Chris and Zoe did a great job assembling the kind of information it takes a lot of time to either put together yourself or learn on your own, and there’s a lot of inspiration, too. So, check it out here if you like!

In consideration of some recent behind-the-scenes stuff here in Knitgrrlland, this week I made loans to women in Tajikistan and Peru using Kiva (kiva.org), and I’ve started a lending team there if you’d like to join. Here’s how it works, paraphrased directly from Kiva:

You can lend to someone across the globe who needs money for their business — such as raising goats, selling vegetables at market or making bricks. Each loan has a picture of the entrepreneur, a description of their business and how they plan to use the loan so you know exactly how your money is being spent — and you get updates letting you know how the entrepreneur is doing. When they pay back their loan, you get your money back. Kiva’s loans are managed by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing this, so you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.

In my case, I’ve chosen to fund women-owned businesses via Kiva. Won’t you help, too? Join our team there.

This may seem a little off topic but it’s really not — bear with me. The past two weeks have been a microcosm of the past two years, and I’ve had to really pull out all the stops. In the course of doing what I’ve been doing (all will be clear soon! I promise!), I’ve come to realize that my own perception of reality really does affect the outcomes inside that reality. I am thankful I have amazing friends and family to help me, teach me, and serve as an outside voice when I have started to doubt my internal one. So — to those of you who know what I’m talking about, thank you, and to everyone else, you’ll know soon enough!

A few months ago when I was in the middle of the worst single day ever, I decided to take a step back and acknowledge I could not do anything more to make things better. This wasn’t a question of giving up, it was simply realizing the truth of the situation. Usually when I’m in that position I put the computer or whatever work I’m doing down to go clean something — scrubbing can be very therapeutic. But I took a different tack that day — I decided to email each of my good friends individually and tell them how much I like them, and why, and tell them how happy I am to be their friend. It worked. You write about 10 of those and trust me, you’re going to be feeling better, not to mention you’ll probably make their day as well.

This month? I could have written those to everyone I’ve ever met since childhood and I don’t think it would have made a dent. Blame Mercury retrograde, blame whatever you want, but I think that we need to be prepared to make major changes even when the timing is bad, that we need to push forward even when we know there will be fallback…in knitterly terms, you can’t be afraid to rip out in order to move forward with better things. I’m doing that. How about you?

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  • Carol

    Hi – I’ve been Kiva-ing for a while -making sure to donate to the textile arts related people. I would love to join your team – as soon as I get enough Kiva credit back, I will.
    I’m sorry about the bad times and I know you don’t want to hear it now (neither does my daughter) but you will learn lots and things happen for a reason and – hang in there. I can tell I’m heading into some ‘bad timing’, but as you say – rip out and move forward!

    Reply to Carol
  • Amanda Williams

    Ripping out to move forward with better things? Thanking your friends for their wonderfulness? Have you been peeking into my life? I wholeheartedly agree.
    Take a step back to start running forward. Treasure those that are special in your life–and tell them. Share and give back.
    It’s the only way to live.

    Reply to Amanda Williams
  • Joanne

    Wow. Important reflections. Change is sometimes the best way forward, and the way that seems most difficult at the time. In retrospect, I’ve always been very relieved in the long term when I made those big changes. Cutting or ripping out something seems drastic but sometimes is the only positive way forward.

    Being happy (or content) with what you’ve got also helps, you are right. Giving to others and offering them your best self is a good remedy, too.

    These are all sort of platitudes, but I think about this stuff in the particular often. I’ve struggled quite a bit with some serious negativity in terms of my geographic location, and I’ve both retreated into my own reality and created a rich interior life. It worked very well for me! Now I’m moving, and I can’t wait to see how that change will take me into the “future me!”

    Reply to Joanne
  • andi

    As always, I am in awe of you! You go, grrl!

    Reply to andi

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