The best art is by those who create it for love. It’s a manifestation of their passion, of their creative outlet – not something engineered for money or fame. Crafted, not crafty.
It’s always enthralling to read about the lives of people who have that fame and money at their feet, but who choose to balance it with the love of their art. Profiled in the Texas Monthly is Kermit Oliver, the centrepiece of one such story – the Kermit Oliver who designs a series of Americana-themed scarves for Hermes and yet still holds his job at the Waco post office.
I tried to ask about this, but his entire body winced at the mention of fame or money. “That doesn’t interest me,” he said. “Painting is just something I do. I chose not to support my family that way.” Which is why, for the past 28 years, he’s sorted mail at the Waco post office. He works the night shift. His job is processing “hot mail,” the mail that can’t be handled by machines or must be delivered that day. For eight and a half hours—sometimes an hour or two extra if he can score the overtime—Kermit sorts these high-priority messages into a dovecote of cases so that they can be sent off to nearby towns for delivery. When he gets home he paints for a spell, then sleeps for two or three hours. “That’s the schedule we keep,” he said plainly, folding his hands in his lap.
Read the full story here.