A friend of mine, a middle school art teacher, asked me to come meet with her "Master Artist" students. They are preparing to make art windows that will be permanently displayed in the front of their school and my friend wanted me to talk with them about what it's like to be a professional artist. As I was pulling together some photos and "show and tell" items to share with the kids, I started thinking about my "job." Making commissioned work is very different from creating my own art. When I am commissioned to make something-- a window, jewelry box, fused dish, etc.-- the piece must please my customer in terms of size, design, style and color. I listen and collaborate with the person for whom I'm making it and use their inspiration to steer me through the process. When I'm making my own art, I get to decide what and how I want to create. I've been fortunate to have some great clients who have ideas about what they like but have given me artistic freedom to make something really special. By continuing to explore glass and metal, I am able to provide a broader array of options and I was happy to share both the business and the art side of what I do that with this enthusiastic, talented group of kids. I can't wait to see what these Master Artists create!