I was working full-time as a Production Artist for a man - who I will not name - was very well-known for his highly-collectible statues of clowns (eeeek).
Oh, for sure, it was not the best job, though it paid fairly well (assuming you met your daily quota of how many you were supposed to paint and complete by day's end). During my two-plus years there, and in spite of being systematically worked to death, I had a reasonable amount of fun at this rather grueling job in a suffocatingly hot (read: NO AIR CONDITIONING) warehouse in the San Fernando Valley, California, where summertime temperatures usually got to 105+ degrees or more for weeks on end.
I worked with about 15 other artists crammed into an area of said warehouse at large desks, which we loaded covered with as many statues of said clowns as we could fit. Some statues were bigger and more intricate to paint, and paid a little bit better than the small simple ones, and you were paid extra for as many extra you could manage in a day's time. That's what I strove for, to paint each statue perfectly in as short a time as I could, and to do as many as I humanly could push myself to do. Believe me, it was not easy, but I felt it could perhaps be a stepping stone of sorts to a better "Job as an Artist" that may be waiting for me in the near future to get away from this sweatshop job (ha, that was not to happen for a long while, but hope is what drives the human soul, so you should never, ever deprive anyone of hope) as well as out of a very abusive marriage (which I thankfully did a few short years later).
During this time, I was trying to be as creative as I could, both at the job and at home, where I painted and drew almost constantly. I'd come up with a series of Christmas time paintings featuring cute woodland animals, one of which I'm sharing here from the holiday season in late 1984. It's ink with acrylic paints on heavy-stock paper, and as I took a quick scan of it (sorry for the poor quality), I realized that I never really finished it; so add that to my list of resolutions for the coming year. And, if anyone was interested, I'd be happy to make prints of it as well.
Anyway, just thought I'd share the "A Critter Christmas" here. Happy Holidays, y'all!
by Ellen Gee - 1984