As an artist I have always been a non-profit organization. I did not meant it to be that way, that's just how it worked out.
When I had that moment in life where I realized that I was an artist I then asked myself how do I make a living? Then I thought that I will teach art and that will be a job that will enable me to make a living and support both my sculpture and my family. My naivety was understandable as I was young (22) and single. At no time did I ever envisage being able to make a living with my sculpture.
I did hope to become rich and famous as an artist. Hey, I was only 22, I was still a child.
So I went on for a Masters in sculpture so I could teach in a college somewhere. But I also wanted to live in or near New York City, the Mecca for artists. Lessee now, there must be 10,000 Master of Art degree holders who want to teach in New York City. With maybe a dozen college type schools in the place that makes competitoin just a bit fierce.
I ended up with a teaching job in an adult training branch of the State U in Brooklyn but I was teaching drafting. Then I switched to teaching math and then computer drafting at the school. I taught there for 37 years. All the while I was trying to show my artwork in Manhattan galleries.
Gradually I learned and then accepted the fact that to get "known" in Manhattan one has to live there. Like all human activities, its who you know that means anything. To make the necessary contacts one has to live there and mingle with the right people in the art world. I hate even walking through giant cities like NY so I settled in Connecticut and commuted to work.
I have had one man shows in Manhattan, I have been in numerous group shows there. I maintain my membership in a co-op gallery in Lower Manhattan. My work does not sell. I even had an agent for a few years. He finally gave up. He said the only way to sell work would be for me to have a studio there where he could take clients who want to buy the work of NY artists. To most monied collectors of art you are not a real artist unless you have a studio in New York. I could not afford a studio in NY and a home in Connecticut. Not even a small fake studio.
Now, after 45+ years as an unsold but often shown sculptor I still make my art and I show my work. I had and raised a family which is one of the things I wanted to do in life. I retired from teaching but I still make money as a free-lance draftsman.
What can I say, that's life.