Since the coolest job in the universe could only ever be temporary it came to its sad but allotted end. Since then I have been scrabbling around for work again which is as much of a pain in the proverbial as ever. Life for a freelancer is not easy here. Especially in the arts field despite all the hype.... and as for just turning up and being an artist forget it! Without considerable independent means you are constantly looking for the next project that is going to provide an income and they are so few and far between you never actually get to that position where you have enough behind you to buy materials and rent a cheap studio space ... err... not that they exist ... yet!
It's harder when you know it's temporary as well. This means you don't actually have a long term vested interest in the location itself so motivation is difficult to sustain. This is compounded by the absence of the kind of wider (and personal) support system that takes time to build up.
I have also discovered that the life of a freelance writer completely sucks. I now understand friends in this field who said they spend most of the time chasing up invoices. I have actually given up on two lots of money I am owed for articles ... both organisations based in Italy as it happens. It may seem churlish to have a go at Italy given the earthquake and all ... but Flash Art International suck and don't ever mention Il Giornale dell’Architettura in my presence unless you want a black eye.
What makes me most angry is how they just go silent. No answers to emails, no apologies, no nuffin'! If they at least emailed to say a) your article was so crap we can't use it or b) they decided not to publish the 'special feature on the UAE' so we can't extract payment or just c) sorry we're charlatans and we're not going to pay you... I would feel soooo much better!
But never mind... the departure date is drawing ever nearer and so I guess it's quite appropriate that my next project is not based in the UAE at all. However, if this potential project is going to work I will definitely need some help from people I've met here ... and the usual inshallah's all round of course!!