Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com

Big Decisions

Big decisions, never easy. Maybe thats why I've been struggling with this one for over a year now. But its done. I won't be pursuing mural work as my main career anymore. This past year was full of disappointing setbacks, the final nail in the coffin?.......having a quote for a highly detailed 5.5'x 25' canvas mural that was to be installed in a 29 million dollar Florida mansion.....yes, 29 million.....rejected as being too high.
The quote?.....$4200.
Too bad, it would have been stunningly beautiful (not to mention a bargain!). Here's one of the sketches I did for it, minus a lot of the detail....more underwater life, more land detail etc.
This rejection fell right on the heels of an even larger project postponing for several months. And yet another job continually rescheduling meetings over a period of four months, delaying their start date.


So the question is Now What? This is for the young people:
Listen to your elders kids, stay in school and learn to love it!
I'm convinced I was 'allowed' to graduate high school simply because they knew I'd do no better if I had to return, it certainly wasn't based on any stellar academic achievements on my part.
Prior to teaching myself to paint (12 yrs ago) all of my adult work experience had been in providing a service. Without a proper education or at least an extreme talent, its about your only option for work.

OK...I'll admit some of these jobs were actually pretty cool, but its no way to build a secure future for yourself......at least it wasn't for me.

I can't believe I still have these, let alone used to fit in them.
Ah....Electric Factory Concerts (Phila.,PA). I started working for them in 1974, I was barely into my 20's, young, naive, and it kills me to think of the photo ops I missed...could've made me a wealthy woman for life..lol. I took care of the bands dressing rooms and road crews. Did that for about four years I think.

After that glam job I spent many years providing a home cleaning service, mostly for busy yuppies with fabulous careers, 2.5 kids, and the elderly, whom I adored. After that I worked in a dive motel in So FL where along with cockroaches, empty beer cans, and cigarettes burned into the carpet, you'd find crack baggies hidden under the mattresses. From there I went to being a cook/stewardess on an 80' private yacht in Palm Beach, Fl. When the owners decided to sell, my next job was as a bartender at a biker bar......talk about your extremes! And yes, there are a few tattoos to prove it. Another lesson for you kids out there?.......a black widow spider complete with web, may look cool when you're young and free spirited, but I'm feeling a wee bit silly now that I'm in my .......... well, you do the math, I can't bring myself to say it :-)
(Special note to future employers: I've learned to hide them very well)

But I digress....fast forward to becoming a mural artist. There are a few lessons here I think.
I've really come to appreciate the importance of good self esteem, a positive attitude, and a head for business especially in this business of art.

You can be as talented as Leonardo, but if you don't believe it, can't present it with conviction and a smile on your face, then you probably won't be able to sell it.
I recently accepted at least some level of these 'lacks' in myself, and yes I beat myself up about it for a long time (which only made it worse), and then duh.....I learned you can ask for help....not something I was used to doing.
So at least one lesson?....know who you are, and if you suck at some of the things I've mentioned....find someone to help you. Paint to your hearts content and let someone else do the selling. Why haven't I done that? Well......I actually did give it a try recently, but honestly I think I had too many disappointments this past year, and I waited too long to try to find the help. My passion for what I had been doing was/is...........just gone. Its time to move on.

So back to Now What?
Well I've decided its time to look for a 'real' job.
One option I came up with is to combined all my experiences and look for a live-in position at a Bed&Breakfast Inn (but I'm open to any suggestions or legit offers of employment). I think I'd be pretty good at it. I like making sure people are comfortable, I like staying busy, I like things clean, I enjoy cooking, I'm computer literate (better on my mac though:) and I'm good at mult-tasking.
So I started the process of looking for a B&B job a few days ago by placing an ad http://forums.bedandbreakfast.com
And within a day or two I actually got two responses. One (in Minnesota) I decided was too far away from my family, and the other ( in the Adirondacks) I really really want(ed), but there's a possible timing conflict. I have one final mural commitment here which will keep me unable to accept any new position until the end of July. I will stay in touch with this B&B and selfishly hope they are not able to find someone before I finish here. Meanwhile I will continue to contact other B&B's, and look for other opportunities for work as well. I'm really looking forward to trying something new, and making some positive changes.

I won't give up painting completely. I'm sure I'll do a mural from time to time and perhaps do some work on a smaller canvas......


maybe focus on doing more portraits.


I even played around with making placemats for pets a couple years back. Fun.


Then there's an interest in photography, most artists do I think.




So there's lots for me to think about, and a lot of changes in the future. Growth is good.

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