(Note: I accidentally deleted the text thread, so I’m relying on my faulty memory, which means this probably isn’t verbatim.)
A while back I had two Heroic Portrait orders, one of which had a deadline, and the other of which was for “whenever.”
After a lot of effort – I think that if my flat fee represented an hourly rate I did it for under $5 an hour, given all of the time I put into it – I finished the first one on time, and after taking a break I got to work on the “whenever” one.
If the first one represented a lot of effort, the second represents a monumental amount of effort. (I’m probably making fractions of a cent per hour at this point.)
I think I may be finished with it, finally, but I decided I wanted a second opinion before I sent the proof to the client, so I texted it to Scott.
Me: Take a look at this and LMK what you think. I’m too sick of looking at it to be objective.
Scott: Hm. Her head placement looks odd.
Me: Your head placement looks odd.
Scott: LOL, true, but I thought you wanted my opinion.
Okay, so I was a being a tad defensive and reflexively hostile, but I was thinking about it afterwards and I realized something.
Given that it has not, to date, brought me fame, fortune, women, or even any significant amount of personal satisfaction, my “art” should at least earn me the right to be a temperamental artist.
I mean, there has to be some kind of benefit to it.
I think I’ve earned at least that much, because I sure as hell haven’t earned anything else. (Especially not fortune or women.)
In my continued attempts at divahood, I sent this in response:
Me: Fuck, shit, etc. I quit. She can’t have it.
Shortly after my mini-tantrum, I made some edits.
Me: *Sigh* How about now?
Scott: I don’t know. I think it looks pretty good.
Ah yes, “pretty good.” The kind of ebullient praise that artists thrive on and devote their lives to earning.