What do you do?
Chris Alvarez

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I am a stay at home dad, self-unemployed artist and part-time art instructor at UCCS and the Cottonwood Artistsí School.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       As an artist, Iím responsible for finding beautiful and/or interesting people, places and things, experiencing them visually and recording these experiences on canvas or paper in the form of paintings or drawings. As an art teacher, my job is to show others how to do just that. As a parent, Iím doing my best to raise happy, healthy and confident children.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       Iíve been drawing since I was a kid but Iíve been practicing as a serious artist for nine years and Iíve had the pleasure of teaching for the last four years. Our oldest son is 3 1/2 years old. Weíve lived on the Westside since 2002.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       Quitting time is probably my least favorite part. As a parent, I like being able to raise our children on my own and not send them to daycare. The best part of being an artist is the act of working. And as a teacher, I enjoy helping others see the world in new ways.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       As an artist, I wish I could find more time and energy to do my own art work. Other than that, I donít think Iíd change a thing. Although an increase in sales would be nice.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       How much there is to learn. It seems that the more I learn, I find that there is that much more I donít know. Also, I wasnít prepared for the business aspect of being an artist.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       Colorado Springs is a big town, but living and working on the Westside is like living and working in a small community. My neighborhood is like an extended family which not only encompasses my residential neighbors but also the good folks at the Carnegie Library and some of the businesses as well.

ďWhat do you do?Ē is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesnít live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.