Veni, Vidi, Artsy, Fartsy: Part 1

    Following is a rough essay I started writing for Cantanker magazine a few months ago, but I wasn’t satisfied with the way it was going. While I feel I can express myself well with the written word at rare moments, most of the time I get pen-tied, too many things spewing forth at once. My conclusion from these efforts is typical Virgo: if you can’t do it perfectly, it’s not worth doing at all. But here, warts and all, is what I began to say.

Money, mainly lack thereof, is a serious concern for just about every artist I know. Whether one works 8-5 or works odd jobs to support a creative habit, we’re all part of the same scene (let’s face it – Austin ain’t that big – yet), and that puts us more or less all in same boat.

Right now, that boat is sailing towards new horizons in the shifting and occasionally treacherous seas of Central East Austin. After living in the (787)‘04 for 8 years, I relocated to the Eastside a little more than a year ago to escape increasing rent prices. Prior to my move, I was renting a room in South Austin for $500 a month. Then I saw the ad on craigslist: a renovated little pad on Poquito Street in a 1930’s triplex for $425 a month. It was across from some projects, but most of the residents were families, not thugs. And yeah, my fellow newly-relocated neighbors in the other apartments got broken into twice in three weeks, but that was due to their lack of common sense, leaving their windows open and their backdoors unlocked when they went out. I had no problems at all, intruders or otherwise. I loved the cheap rent, my nice landlady, and the proximity to Shady Tree Studios, the art-warehouse upstart where I just leased a space to paint.

I think many other young artists in came into a similar situation during this 2005. Housing was relatively inexpensive compared to the rest of the central city, and new artist communities and available workspaces were springing up everywhere on the Eastside. It made perfect sense to move to the area and be a part of this energizing environment where something new was taking shape.

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