Working while I work (before work tomorrow…)

Sometimes people accuse me of not having a job.

While it is true that I’ve shied away from the traditional 8-5 since leaving Lifetouch in 2013, I have been fortunate to pick up quite a few different ‘gigs’ since that time and I’ve strung them together to create a life of travel and artwork that I enjoy, which has also provided enough income to keep me alive.

A lot of people think I’m unemployed because they don’t know what I do.  While ‘my job’ is kind of hard to explain in just a few sentences, here is what I’m doing today.

Today I left West Fargo, North Dakota after spending a few hours filling out surveys for mystery shops that I completed the day before.  I then drove to the opposite corner of Fargo to take four photos of a house that has gone into foreclosure that I will now email to a company that checks up on properties for banks and mortgage companies.  I then left Fargo for Bismarck, ND, where I will have meetings for a different job tomorrow….more about that job later on.

I’ve always wanted to paint this rest area outside of Bismarck that looks like a retro gas station…

On the 200 mile drive to Bismarck, I swung through Buffalo and Valley City to photograph two more houses; one out in the country on questionable roads.  Once I got to Bismarck, I stopped at Walmart to pick up a few free paint swatches for a project and some other random art supplies, and then I swung by a chain restaurant to enjoy free Mexican food by completing a mystery shop there.

It was getting late and bitterly cold, so from the restaurant I went straight to my hotel room…. which tonight was provided compliments of the North Dakota Arts Council.  Last summer I was accepted as an Artist in Residence for the state of North Dakota, which means I will have the opportunity to teach for a few weeks at a time at schools throughout the state.  My first teaching gig will be in Jamestown starting February 20, and while I couldn’t be more excited and grateful for these new opportunities, I also know that I have a lot to learn before I begin.

So tomorrow, I will be meeting up with other Artists in Residence for a day of sharing and training before I go out on my own.

Today was kind of a long day (many of my days are pretty long), but I wanted to keep going with the #30paintingsin30days challenge.  So, I snapped a photo of this cool retro-gas-station looking rest area outside of Bismarck at dusk, and did a little sketch at the Mexican restaurant, and finished the color work back at my hotel room.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!  And, it’s time to call it a day.  Goodnight, ya’ll!

Day 8 – Rest area outside of Bismarck, ND

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