Sunday, July 16, 2006

Saltspring Island, Artist Mecca?

A week ago today, my better half and I went to Saltspring Island. It's an island off the southern coast of British Columbia. Saltspring Island is known for it's Saturday Artists market. There are a total of 42 resident artists scattered around the island creating various works of art. You can also drive around the island and visit the artists studios most days fo the week. Painting, jewelery, potter, weavings, etc etc.. the list goes on. There was even a guy making rose petal beads. The term Rosary came from the fact that the beads were made from boiled down rose petals, formed and baked into fragrant beads. Very cool. The ultimate form of recycling. In addition to the art culture on the island, there's a huge hippy vibe going on there. Many of the current older residents "floated" over to the island in the 70's and now their kids are making the 3rd generation of hippies! I'm not saying that EVERYONE on the island is a hippy, from what we experienced when we visited, I'd say it's a good 60/40 split hippy/non-hippy types with maybe 10% of the 60% the John and Yoko type or "hard core hippy". Ah Hippy's... They're an interesting bunch. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing wrong with the Hippy lifestyle, it's just not for me. Which is somewhat ironic as I tend to slant towards the whole buddist, zen way of looking at life and that's where the whole hippy trend came from. Understanding, going with the flow, detachment, balance etc. It's very much zen. I'm a pretty laid back guy but I don't believe for a second that life should be without drive or purpose. Which brings me to my second topic...Hard to say weither the artists on the island are making the kind of money I'd want to make as a full-time self-employeed artist. The island seemd pretty isolated. Maybe when I'm 80 I'll want something more laid back but not that laid back. I think some of them are bringing in good denaro but sales on the island are mostly in the tourist season. Stuckup rich Americans (no, you're not one of them so don't take offence if you're from south of the boarder. K?) are now moving to the island and driving the prices up so high that it's not reasonable to think you can purchase a piece of property there and expect to make the mortgage payments with the amount of income you'd make as an "Island artist" There's got to be more.

~ Keep Creating ~

The Art Ninja.

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