The Artist.

‘What do you do?’
‘I’m an artist.’
‘How’s that work?’
‘I make art.’
‘What kind, draw pictures?’
‘No, books, poems that kinda thing.’
‘You write them?’
‘No, well, I’m workin’ on a novel at the moment.’
‘What’s it about?’
‘It’s sort of hard to explain.’
‘Why?’
‘Well it’s set in three different centuries, and the stories all connect at the end.’
‘What kind of storys are they?’
‘Bold, contemporary, really exciting.’
‘Have you much written?’
‘I’ve just started.’
‘Ten pages?’
‘Of notes, yeah, the actual writing has to begin yet.’
‘How long you been at it?’
‘Eleven months, but it’s September now, so I’m goin to make it my New Year’s resolution to finish it.’
‘By the New Year?’
‘No, start properly.’
‘Oh right, does it pay well? Writing?’
‘It depends.’
‘On what?’
‘Funding.’
‘Is that hard to get?’
‘I know the Arts Officer so it’s ok.’
‘Are you not supposed to be funded on the quality of your work?’
‘Yeah, but I don’t have any work yet, so…’
‘So they fund you for somethin you might write?’
‘They know I’m good for it. They could tell that by my application…’
‘And what if you don’t write it?’
‘Nothin happens, drink the money, that’s the Arts, the inspiration isn’t always there first hand, you need a muse, somethin that inspires you…if that’s not there, then, no point. The Arts Council understand that.’
‘Who’s your muse?’
‘The pub. I love the pub, drinking, always meet really interesting characters, then I store it all up in my head for some day when I get time to write it all down…’
‘Do you have a part-time job or anythin?’
‘No, well, I sort of help my dad at weekends, he has a pub….but it depends on whether I’m tryin to write or research or whatever…’
‘And what about somebody that has somethin written, but doesn’t know the Arts Officer, so they don’t get funded?’
‘That’s life, you need to network. Get over it. Get out there, make yourself known or you’ll get nowhere. I deserve it. They don’t.’
‘Is this your first project?’
‘I’ve been an Artist for years, but yeah.’
‘How can you be an artist for years, if this is your first project?’
‘I volunteered at a few festivals, got to know the people at the top, fermented my ideas, partyed at the right places, and when the time came, they knew I was ready to come through.’
‘But you haven’t come through?’
‘Not yet.’
‘How much did you get?’
‘€2,500. Not a lot really when you think about it.’
‘Think about what? You got it for nothin.’
‘It’s the price of my intellectual contribution to the Arts, nobody considers that…’
‘What centurys are the book set in?’
‘I haven’t decided yet. Probably the 15th, 16th and 17th…. I know it’s goin to be a love story, though, and there’ll be a fella in it that’s in love with this girl, but she doesn’t want him cos she thinks he’s got no job and he’s a loser and a dreamer and a deadbeat drinker, but then he gets really famous and she falls in love with him and he tells her to go fuck herself…’
‘Based on anyone you know?’
‘I don’t know anyone from the 15th, 16th or 17th centruy…so no.’
‘Will that not create research problems?’
‘My brother’s a nerd, he loves all that History shit….he’s doin some research for me…
‘What was the name of the Arts Officer?’
‘I can’t say…’
‘Why not?’
‘I slept with her and it wouldn’t look ethical if people knew, even though it’s totally above board, just, you know the way people talk….? And she’s in a long term relationship too, so that wouldn’t look good either…’
‘It’s all about Networking I suppose…’
‘Exactly. She was fuckin useless in the sack, though. Like a bag of spuds.’
‘Any publishers interested yet?’
‘Not yet, but they’re goin to go mad for it.’
‘How do you make that out?’
‘It’ll be the best book written for decades. I can already feel it. It’s really exciting actually.’
‘What’ll you call it?’
‘Haven’t got a title, yet, still workin on it. I’d like to bring in the monks that made Buckfast, so maybe something to do with that…’

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