Making art for a living was not something my mother, nor my father, wanted me to do. They wanted me to have a pension plan like theirs but I had to give up getting paid for being a creative producer. They were of the generation that worked 40 hours/week for 40 years to gain a pension plan to fund their last 15-20 years of their lives to do what they really wanted to do like taking the ferry every summer to drive up North to Fairbanks, Anchorage, Seward, Whitehorse, etc., or gardening 24/7, or beadworking, or hanging out with their grandkids. They lived it up real fast and good for a good 15 years until their bodies started to wear out. I was on the path of working for someone else and fetching a monthly paycheck while gaining a pension plan until my first child was born; then I stayed home. And suddenly with so much concern in her voice, my mother said: “…stay home with your kids! Don’t let someone else raise them…protect them, care for them, be there for them…” And somehow I got the feeling that she was earnest about this statement because of what she hadn’t been able to do when she had little kids, and she saw how we didn’t quite turn out!
When I started doing art at home, though she would have wanted me to continue having a steady paycheck from somebody, she said: “Do not sell yourself short. You need to find out what everyone else charges for similar work and put your price accordingly. Beware of those who will take advantage of you because there are people out in the world like this, though you may not think so. I tell you these things because you are like your father…”
Guess what, Mom? Even nearly 40 years later, I still remember your words as if you said them yesterday, and your words are still appropriate today! Gunalcheesh!
Click on the following link to see many photos of my mother and her eulogy written by our sister, Irene Jean Lampe: http://clarissarizal.com/blog/?s=Irene+Lampe