There are no formal qualifications to become an artist assistant, although many assistants enter the job with a background in fine arts. My assistant has neither experience or a degree in fine arts.
The King of the Art Studio
My studio assistant is a model and a poser dreaming of being the King of the Art Studio. He sure knows when to step up the game to get his treats and make me brush his fur till it shines. Mr Handsome Cat also tells me when it’s time to turn his woolen blanket.
I admit it: I’m his slave, he is my master and I think he is drop-dead gorgeous!
My Magic Art Assistant
Apart from being drop-dead gorgeous, super smart, friendly, soft and furry, he is absolutely magic! Mr Magic Art Assistant even likes my studio music (contrary to the rest of the family). He knows exactly when I’m stuck and in desperate need for a hug and a nice cup of tea. No wonder, he practically grew up in my studio!
But sometimes we’ve had tiny accidents: Like the very first day in the studio when he suddenly jumped up on the table and stepped right into my wet paint. Of course, I immediately removed the blue paint under his feet, so he wouldn’t lick off the acrylic paint himself. Once he managed to taste the green water behind my back. But normally he just relaxes somewhere safe in his own very special place. So, no trouble at all!
Instead of administrative duties – like scheduling appointments, answering email and press queries, communicating with gallerists, dealers, and collectors – Mr Art Cat provides artistic support like purring and well… purring.
Instead of mixing paints and preparing panels for painting, he sleeps.
Instead of cleaning the brushes, he slowly and carefully licks his fur for hours.
Instead of bringing me food, he screams for me to come watch him eat.
Refreshing Walks in the Woods
During summer months we often have lunch in the nearby woods. His woods. After lunch Mr Cat normally takes the frustrated artist for a walk to clear the mind. Yes, it’s true. We take walks together. But he refuses to swim in the river with me. Well, you can’t have everything!
Time to Reflect
When it’s time to reflect, my assistant is the best. He curls up and we talk and reflect until he wants to go outside. Sometimes we work on art texts for blogging, like today – I do the writing, while he watches birds and squirrels on youtube. He loves when I read out loud!
Life Drawing Sessions
Our life drawing sessions are the best. They make a cornerstone of training arts and living La Vida Loca, or the artist’s life, in our shared studio. This is the only time I’m allowed to sit in the studio arm chair.
As you might have guessed, the studio arm chair is His Highness’ Throne.
I think Mr Handsome Studio Cat likes modeling best. I actually made a whole series called Cat People to honor our relationship! Part of the series was exhibited in 2019. Mr Drop-Dead-Handsome just loves it when I look at him all the time! And I love him dearly! It’s a win-win situation.
Artists and Their Cats
Many artists have shared their studio with cats: Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Ai Weiwei to name a few. So I’m not alone!