‘I go to bed way too late, not before three o’clock’
Iris: „I can hardly cram it into one week anymore, my side jobs, next to my art. Because that’s what I like to do the most.
“I am an artist. That’s just how I think too. The way I am. To live from my art is not so easy. I have an address in home care, where I clean. And I work in a coffee shop about three days a week. I also receive assignments from another creative person, an art director who wants to brainstorm together or asks me to make illustrations.
„After the art academy I thought: I am going to make all very large works of more than two meters and then I will be noticed. I always made very large works on paper, mainly with birds in the lead. But at one point I was still not where I wanted to be. It takes too long, I thought, and then I also live all the way here in Enschede. In my opinion, art lives more in the west. There are all the galleries, and the museums. Still, I refuse to move there. Living here is more affordable, I have a three-room apartment and studio here.
“That end goal that I had in mind is that I made it as an artist. That is a goal I will never achieve. Because I probably never think: ‘Well, now I’m here.’ You want more and more every time.
“Since I met my creative client and let a few cleaning addresses go, I’ve been thinking a bit more about how I want to organize my life. Now I am also creating art on A4 size with colored ballpoint pens. I offer that for a lower price than they teach you at art school. I want to focus more and more on such things and not on: if only I were at that gallery and I only won that one prize.
“I think it’s important to get pleasure out of the work itself, not what it might bring you. That may never come and then you’ll be 95 years old and very unhappy because it all didn’t work out. I think I am becoming successful in a different way now. Maybe I’ll make a webshop and sell drawings on the assembly line.”
Iris: „I am really a night person. I go to bed way too late. Not before three o’clock, sometimes only half past four. I enjoy drawing at night. If I have to get up early in the morning for work, I want to go to bed at two o’clock, but that doesn’t always work either. Due to corona, the coffee shop is open at ten o’clock in the morning instead of twelve in the afternoon. Then I have to get on the train at nine o’clock. If I’m not in bed by four o’clock, that’s not very convenient.
“If I have to get up early, I quickly grab a bag of balls and a slice of cheese and cycle to the station. If I have the evening shift, my work starts at three o’clock. And then I’ll have a good breakfast. I just discovered something new, banana flavored oatmeal. I put nuts and half banana and kiwi on top, and flakes for decoration. Then I’m doing well.
“On average, I work at the coffee shop three times a week, I only spend a few hours at my cleaning address. As soon as I’m free, I’ll get on with my art.
“I’m always busy with something. It doesn’t stop. I don’t have to wait for an assignment, I have the urge to create myself. I have a studio in an old pajama factory. I am normally there every day off. But I can also do those ballpoint drawings that I just started at home. And here I have a heater next to my head. I also go to bed so late because I am busy here. Run one after the other. I can hardly stop then.”
Iris: „I have little structure when I think about it. I do have a rhythm, but it has shifted. I certainly eat dinner every day, but sometimes I don’t eat until 11 o’clock. I just do what I feel like. Actually, that’s nice.
“I do have one fixed shot. When I’m done at the coffee shop on Wednesday evening, I’m going to have dinner and wine with a friend. And I have a boyfriend. He is also an artist, he has a studio in the same building as I do. We don’t have fixed times or days when we see each other. I go to him during the week. Or we meet in the studio. Actually perfect.
“I think it works well for me now that I do different things in my art practice. I am quite impatient and easily distracted. Then I better do something else and focus on that one work with new energy.
“I couldn’t do the same thing every day, but part-time I can work well for a boss. It also gives me peace and security. I want to have all the time for my art. I wouldn’t want it to depend on what I can eat. And the coffee shop is cozy. It also keeps me in the loop a bit. Otherwise I will become ‘that crazy bird lady’ who never goes outside again.”
In Rush Hour, couples and singles tell how they combine work and private life. Participate? Mail to [email protected]