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    Posted August 1, 2014 by
    Seattle, Washington
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

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    Going, Going, Gone Homeless

    I delayed the inevitable for almost two years but now it is time to become what I meant to become: a struggling, homeless artist. That is what happens when you don't sell your work and when the college education that you've been sold turns out to be worthless. (Here is a Polak joke to add to your collection: What does a Polak become after he earns his Master's degree? ... Tick, tock; tick, tock; tick, tock ... A construction laborer. Ha Ha Ha Ha. America, The Land of Opportunity!)

    Saturday, August 2, I am driving down to California to become a beach bum and try to beach hop my way to Los Angeles. Along the way, my goal is to survive by trying to sell my remaining inventory of books and booklets which I am taking with me. I will also try to sell original drawings that I will create while on a beach and caricature drawings of any beach goers that I can entice to have their caricature made. (I am taking plenty of 5×8" blank index cards and Sharpies for that purpose.)

    Of course, I am not a salesman. I am not going to have some sort of booth from which I pimp my products. That is not who I am. Besides, it is probably illegal to sell stuff on a beach. At least it is illegal if you don't have a license to do so. I don't have a license to do so. I may end up being kicked out if I don't pimp my books and drawings quietly like a drug dealer. What I intend to do is to set up a little table, or just use a storage box. On top of it, I'll have my books and drawings and a price sheet. I will be sitting beside this, doing art.

    What better way to live than to create art on some beautiful beach? What better way to die? Although it is not my intention to do so (die), I am realistic about this endeavor and the dangers that it presents.

    There are, of course, other less life threatening dangers strolling the California beaches. Those are the tanned, curvaceous distractions that will make making art a test of my discipline and will power.

    My intent is to make enough money each day for that day's meals and that night's motel room. Whatever extra I can make is a bonus and it will be saved.

    My goal is to survive like this for a whole year, selling original drawings and completing my past projects. I want to finish Welcome, Weclome, Wocleme and Oomlooma scrolls (I hope to attract some people to my "sale's table" while working on these.) I also want to complete my Mesa Treasure Map and begin the first two phases of the sculpture series I call Nudes, The Construction Series Undressed. These phases consist of drawing nudes (Can you think of a better place to find potential models for nude drawings than a California beach?) and turning those drawings into abstract concepts for sculptures.

    I also want to keep a daily journal of my adventure and mis-adventures and my bumming around. I think that if by some miracle I actually do survive a year this way, the journal will make a great book. In fact, my goal is to write a book of my experiences. Farther in fact, I will be writing that book every evening as I go through those experiences. (Title ideas: The Adventures of a Homeless Artist, Pimping Art in the Shadow of a Palm Tree, Beach Hopping Your Way to Fame and Fortune)

    Some of the entries from my journal, I will publish on my Facebook page and on my Tumblr blog and maybe Twitter. (I don't know how long my website or blog will continue. That really depends on whether I sell enough drawings to continue to pay for the hosting.)

    But I will not publish everything online. My goal is to make money off my struggles and not to provide people with free entertainment. The entries I will post on Facebook and Tumblr will be selected to only whet your appetite. You will have to buy the book for the rest. And while I intend this to be a non-fiction, word book (as opposed to an art book), I will be taking photos and, of course, I will be making lots and lots of art. This art will hopefully include landscapes, portraits, nudes, caricatures, and the beach series I will call Peaches on the Beach (Screw political correctness. Political correctness is for pussies, or PCPs, as I call them. And no, this will not be a book for children.).

    Of course, I may never end up doing any of this, if after a week or so, I run out of money (I will be bringing $400 with me to cover gasoline, motels and meals) and get murdered trying to sleep somewhere in an alley or in a park. Or if my car breaks down somewhere nowhere.

    But even a homeless person needs a plan. That is the difference between a thinking animal and a non-thinking animal. That is a difference between a homeless drug addict and/or schizophrenic, and a homeless artist with a Master of Architecture degree who can't sell his work and can't find a college level job with college level pay (after all, that is why a person goes to college, is it not?) and who will not settle being a construction laborer and becoming a Polak joke.

    There is one problem with this plan. The problem is that people don't go to the beach to buy puzzle books and drawings and have their caricatures made. But, unfortunately, my talents and skills are in visual art. I cannot play a musical instrument, I cannot sing, I am not a joke teller. So, I have to try to survive by doing what I do: create art.

    And if I cannot? Well, there is always a life of crime. We do what we have to do to survive (with the exception of that that makes us into a joke). And a life of crime would make for a much more exciting book. Would it not?

    I am in some ways very excited about this. That excitement will last until I run out of money and food and gas. But until then, I am excited because this may be the first time that I actually will feel "free." And for the first time in a long time that I will be in the real world and not the virtual world of the computer and the internet and Kickstarter.

    I am also excited about this because I will be hunting down that opportunity that America is so famous for. Last I heard, that opportunity was spotted around a corner. I just have to find that corner. (I know, I realize that there are no corners on a beach.)
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