As an artist, I make my living and I discovered as a single person that housing the homes of others gave me the time and space to make my art. With my rent, utilities and, depending on the situation, food, wages, cars, and use of swimming pools, this lifestyle has landed me in incredibly beautiful places as part of the deal.Do you want to learn more? -click this site
I travelled around the world in my twenties and discovered wonderful possibilities for career exchanges along the way. I lived in the outback in Australia for a few years, renting a house on a two hundred acre farm for a low rent of $80 a month in return for keeping an eye on the cows of my landlord. I spent a few weeks in a Thai Buddhist monastery in Bodh Gaya, India, in exchange for spending an hour every day helping one of the monks with university studies (in English). I spent three months living in a kibbutz in Israel, doing a variety of jobs in exchange for everything I wanted. I found that they really valued honest, loyal, hard-working people and could get jobs anywhere in the world.
I eventually settled down and worked as a computer programmer in my thirties before I sold two of my short travel storeys to a magazine and a piece of art I’d created was accepted for a major jury show sponsored by the City of Los Angeles. I left my work and started to hunt for ways to survive as an artist in L.A. Long-term house sitting meant doing landscape painting for movies on occasion.
My first artistic job exchange was for the New Hope Theater in Pennsylvania as a scenic painter in my forties. In the Pocono Mountains, I spent the summer painting sets while staying in a luxurious resort hotel. In return for doing all the black and white still photography for a video project that an artist friend was working on, I lived in an apartment in Venice Beach, CA for two months. I met a woman on holiday in Jamaica who lived in a stunning hillside villa overlooking the Caribbean and ended up sitting there for a week before she had to leave. While there, I learned from a local artist about wood carving.
One of my favourite career exchanges was in Bel Air for a real estate investor. I worked two days a week for three years as his office assistant in exchange for a paycheck and a comfortable little flat in one of the wings of his building. I had full use of the swimming pool and the grounds. I started carving big wood sculptures for Treepeople Park in Beverly Hills while living in Bel Air. Finally, as an Artist in Residence at Avondale Forest Park in County Wicklow, Ireland, I left Bel Air to do a summer work exchange, where I carved a big sculpture from a famous tree that had died. Many of my work exchanges after this encounter were art-related. I carved a large standing Quan Yin for the Los Angeles Zen Center; a statue of the Bodhisatva Jizo for the Zen Mountain Center near Idyllwild, CA; a statue of the Bodhisatva Jizo for the Zen Mountain Center near Idyllwild, CA; I made my first good money when I carved two large angels and an elaborate fireplace mantel, including corbels, for a stuntman’s house in Thousand Oaks,