From the Blog

Fantasy Careers Part III

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As it has been mentioned in the past, I’m sort of an accountant. I’m not really sure how it happened. I got a useful two year degree in Liberal Arts, then an equally useful bachelors degree in Humanities. I took classes like “European Culture in the Latin Middle Ages,” and “Comparative Religious Ethics.” And somehow, when I got my degree, the money didn’t roll in. This, despite the fact that where I went to school, my degree was known not as a Bachelors, but as an “ALB,” or artium liberalim baccalaureus. It SOUNDS smart, doesn’t it? WTF? Pay me some damned money! I will TOTALLY go all Abelard and Heloise on your ass!

So accounting is a ghoulish and spirit-crushing profession. This may be insulting to others who are accountants and enjoy it. But secretly, at night, people who are accountants and enjoy it totally eat brains. Always, ALWAYS be suspicious of a roving band of accountants. Trust me, they are just waiting for the sun to go down.

As a related aside, my dad is an engineer, and it delights him to no end that his two creative, artistic daughters, both of whom he made cry during math homework in elementary school, are now both accountants. It makes him fall asleep with a smile on his face.

So accounting has become my own personal ill-fitted career path, and I imagine it’s probably not uncommon for practically everyone to wish they where doing something else. So, to that end, without haste, let us divert ourselves from our actual work and dream of our fantasy work instead:

Fantasy Career Numero Tres: Art Store Owner

Now. This may actually be something that I COULD actually do, and I have been considering trying to do for a while. I’m not thinking “fine art,” but local art, jewelry and craft work. Probably on a consignment structure and perhaps as a cooperative. I have sold my own crafty items in a number of stores through the years. (You can seriously email me if you need a scarf or a sweater for your poodle. Seriously.) I’ve seen a few different business models for stores that sell art.

On the whole, a lot of artists shy away from the Business aspect of their art. A lot of people don’t realize that making art is only half the process. The other half is the BUSINESS of art. The prospecting, the marketing, the pricing, the inventory control, the selling of product, the overall management of Being Creative. I think I can be helpful in these aspects. Even the accounting parts.

I like the idea of having four walls and a cash register, and giving local artists an outlet to sell their items. I’ve thought about having studio space for people to work on projects. I’ve thought about an espresso bar in the corner. I’ve though about after-hours How-To’s and workshops for people who want to learn new stuff. And silly projects for parents to do with their kids. Can you hear it? This is totally possible.

The bummer is that the economy is sucko. Cute stores in trendy areas are closing under the strain. It’s harder to appreciate Art when you need to buy tooth paste.

And some people have a passionate, burning desire to own their own business. I’m inspired to see what other people are doing. I dream about how the store would look, where it would be located, and what kinds of fabulous items I’d sell. Portland is a good town to try something like this. I like the whole idea of owning a business.

But I don’t know if owning a store is burning in my loins. It sounds super risky. And it sort of sounds like a lot of work. And I’ll never really be rich owning an art and craft store. And really, the whole point of owning a business is to get a Porche. So you can drive it by your lowly employees. You can even make them wash it.

So owning an art store may actually be in my future someday. If I got an influx of cash, trying out this idea is the first thing I would do (after buying the Porche.) So if I win the lottery, or someone else wins the lottery and wants to share (didn’t your mother tell you to share? You should share, you greedy bastard) I will totally open a beautiful little store and sell art.

Fantasy Careers Part I

Fantasy Careers Part II


  1. I’ll lease you some fantasy space for your fantasy art store in my fantasy tavern if you let me drive the Porsche.

  2. Meredith says

    Ah yes, fantasy careers, my fantasy right now is to get away from the blood sucking, Hollywood, addicted airheads that don’t wash their hands after using the restroom.

  3. Seriously, I laughed through reading your whole post. A lot of people including myself (an engineer) wish they doing something else. I almost opened an art gallery in Eugene, and signed the lease but didn’t turn it in because I found out that I might be getting laid off soon…damn economy.

    So the prospect of non-profit work is a thought I had, but it really doesn’t pay as much as an engineer’s salary. Oh boo.

  4. JT…wouldn’t it be nice to do really good work that was also really high profit? Like saving the whales, polar bears AND pandas, and get paid giant gobs of cash? Why has no one thought of this?

  5. My fantasy career is to open a Pinball machine repair/sales shop. But as I found out when Dave and I owned a few machines, I enjoy playing them more than I enjoy repairing them. So I guess my fantasy career is owning a pinball machine repair/sales shop where someone else does all the work. Yep, that sounds perfect.

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