Making Big Job Changes
Making Big Job Changes…aka: The Dream Team at Mika Harmony Art
Well, that’s a lofty title, but the reality is, I can’t do this alone. About two and a half years ago, after a decade long career working at a non-profit conservation company (The Nature Conservancy…if you really want to know), an opportunity presented itself for me to be able to make a big job change and to choose to live my dream life of being a full-time artist.
Wow, that sentence was a mouthful….and the decision to take the leap to life untethered and jumping off the cliff of financial security, was equally full of many words and discussions. Stick with me, there’s a free downloadable art print quote for you at the end. ☺ (or go ahead and scroll to the end…I would!)
The funny thing about being an artist now is that I also consider myself a desk job worker. Although, my desk is full of paint splatters and doodles and random bits of artwork mounting tape.
A typical day for me involves updating my social media sites, phoning stores around the US to pitch the idea of them selling my art (you can now find my art at Hui Noeau in Maui, Hawaii, or MONA A LA MODA in Long Beach, CA…or online at my Etsy site), packaging up artwork to send to their new homes, researching subjects for my next art series….and actual painting.
All of this is done in my studio by the sea, in Ventura California.
Outside my window, you can hear the seagulls…and the Amtrak Coast Starlight if the wind is blowing right. And, right alongside of me, and sometimes even on my studio table, is Team Member #1 Simon. Simon is helpful if only to remind me to take a break. Or maybe he is way too bored with my artwork (everyone’s a critic!).
In addition, my artwork installation assistant (a.k.a. partner) Niko drops everything in his schedule, buys ladder and nails and piles his truck full of my art to help me install my art at restaurants, stores and galleries.
Here is install in full swing:
It is always a joy to introduce Niko as my helper, because people do a double take at our names, Mika and Niko. Niko and Mika. It’s amusing. (However, on this install, I was extra amused as Niko did a bit of shopping of his own and ended up with a gorgeous metal Resonator Ukulele from Anacapa Ukulele)
Finally, there are scores of other helpful people that make up my team, and they probably don’t even know it.
There are the amazingly gracious and helpful staff at Aaron Brothers who wire my frames for me (it’s helpful to delegate when you don’t feel as if you can do the best at something all on your own), the staff at the post office who ship my artwork and save me the best stamps (cherry blossoms and Jimi Hendrix!), the UPS driver who delivers my artwork supplies to me (check out clearbags for the greatest archival storage options for your heirlooms and artwork), my mom (and amazing artist, cmadesigns) who is my partner in crime for our art adventures, my neighbor Tracey who lets me sit at her dining room table to type my blog posts so I can feel like I have a co-worker, and of course, the other artists of Ventura, California who encourage and inspire me.
It’s a great day when I can thank someone for helping me.
In Art and Aloha,
Comment below if you would like to have the above art print quote emailed to you!