Well, the life of an artist isn't exactly what you'd call "structured." With a handful of projects going on at the same time, Dean Stanton is constantly buzzing from place to place, either finishing up a job or getting supplies ready for the next one.

So far, I've helped him outline his latest mural (one for a community garden in Calgary), painted with the kids camp, done some varnishing, and am getting ready to help set up for a large community mural to take place later this week.  It would be great to have a boss like Dean!  He's easy-going and totally supportive of individual ideas.  He understands how people work, and instead of getting frustrated of upset if things don't go his way - he totally rolls with it.

Painting is almost therapeutic...gently brushing the colour on the canvas, whether staying in the lines or drawing outside, it's a hands-on project, that gives you immediate results. I'm definitely a visual person, but am not one that's able to articulate much of anything with a paintbrush. Dean's style is funky - simple, but uplifting. You can't help but smile when you see his zany cartoon caricatures and animated animals.

As far as my own painting ambitions go - I can definitely appreciate how tough it is to figure things out in a freelance world.  You never know where your next job is coming from, or how long until you'll be able to stock the fridge with something other than kraft dinner and hot dogs...

To be an artist, you have to sacrifice.  Whether that sacrifice includes ever being able to wear pants that aren't stained with paint, or larger things such as having a decent-sized savings account - the reason people become artists is because it's their PASSION!  Professions such as painters, photographers, musicians and actors, encompass the focus of the entire OWJ program!  Artists become artists to express themselves and to create beauty - either for themselves or others.

There's no guarantee that anyone will notice, never-mind like your artwork - but for some, it's just something they have to do.  Not many artists become rich and famous, but they continue to work at it because it makes them happy.

Simple, right?

I think so.

- Amanda