Maybe even establishing a bartering system network in which people could share their specific skills with those who do not have them and in turn receive original art. Ah, in a perfect world…. I get a little sick to my stomach when I think about Paul. Bless his heart. As a writer, I can relate. Wow this one really hits home and pushes a few buttons. I was a bit Paul at one time. I fell for the degrees and believed that it was more luck than work that made an artists successful but that is because it is what I was taught and what I saw in my own life.
My Mother and Grandmother were both starving artists and worked very hard albeit cluelessly. They both sold some work, won an award here and there and taught painting to keep afloat. I was determined to be different but did not know how. I blog, I tweet, I interact, I support others, etc. I get an overwhelmingly positive response to my work, I just won a n award at a locally prestigious show, BUT I am selling nothing. I have a shop on my website that is easy to navigate and I am out there everyday trying, tweaking, working hard, and creating.
My passion is strong but some days today it feels hopeless. I feel like just another cog in a different kind of wheel. The future is bright? Please let it be so. Because honestly? Is this a trick question? My gut immediately told me that this scenario is way too common. From my perspective, an artist should know how to promote themselves and to run their business.
If you do not know how, then learn! You see, at this very second there could not be more ways to do it than ever! Get out there on the field and play, the lessons will follow. No one has ever thrown a touchdown from the stands. Be well and stay curious and wide-eyed my peeps! Art as a business is still a business. If you want to make your income from it, you have to accept that side of things. Great parable Chris. You just summed up what my entire blog is about in one post! And yes, I recognise parts of myself in Paul, both past and present..
Chris — man you nailed this all so common phenomenon. So many artists, musicians and writers take this approach — hoping for success, thinking the world is unfair, yet never creating a plan to accompany their talent.
What You Need to Know About the Starving Artist Myth
I wonder what would happen if we made a personal choice to take money out of the equation? I am laughing because I see myself in this story, and thankfully I talked myself out of going back to school to earn a photography degree. I love to learn. Since I have quit my job to pursue photography, more of my time has gone into learning these skills than photography.
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- I had always limited myself, first as a woman, second as uneducated, and third as an artist.?
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That is just the reality, unless you are financially independent and can spend all your time taking photos. Sure that is what I want, but for now, I am stepping out of my comfort zone to be successful. I certainly have Paul-ish tendencies, and it has been a conscious decision to move out of them. One big dilemma: imposter syndrome. To quote the LoLcats, I haz it. At first glance I scanned through and then suddenly stopped and said, wait…and went back to the top and read it. This was my story pursuing a singing career in Opera. Talent is not enough.
You have to understand business or hire someone who does to help you.
People come to me and think getting their MBA will get them the new dream job. Certainly an MBA will help you gain new knowledge, tools, confidence and access to a network etc, but the person has to take action to make it happen. Effort, passion, and intentionality go a lot farther than working the rut with the rest of the masses. Thanks for the continued encouragement to shrug off the usual path. I am positive I have been Paul more than once in my life. Their reply to my questioning their choices?
I so wish more people would utilize their talents. Great story.
Confessions Of A Recovering Starving Artist
Sad to say it, but Paul will probably disagree with the course. He leaves everything up to fate and luck, and hates the fact it appears he has neither on this side. Wow, I could substitute my name, here. I have plenty of insight and great ideas; I even have a schedule of weekly activities…we wont discuss how rarely I execute the schedule, even the parts I supposedly love. Thanks Chris! The business side of the creative life is not nearly so overwhelming when you create a plan for the parts you are least comfortable doing, and then work the plan, step by tiny step.
He has to fix himself. But the drive and ambition have to be within Paul. Learn to sell. To market. Or to find a system that will take you where your talents should go. I love to give the example of Messi. Had it not been for the wonderfully well-oiled machinery of selling and distribution, Messi would be paying a monthly fees at some club to play their on weekends, instead of earning 30 million euros a year.
Same talent, different seller. This is also why some people really need to potentially find a trusting partner to do the work they are not capable or willing to do.
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Great post though to remind me to look at myself and make sure Im not following this path. The hard part about life is understanding that with any way of life there is the mundane that just has to be dealt with.
It is hard, but a truth that once understood has helped me get a lot more the the enjoyable into my daily routine! They just want to pursue their passions. But even when they have a little extra time to themselves, they fritter it away on Facebook, sleeping late, and purposeless activity. They blame our culture for its lack of appreciation for true art. They chalk up their inertia as a lack of inspiration. They have so much talent and even prophetic vision, but they always show up late to anything when they remember to show up.
They sometimes start and rarely finish. They stand to lose a great deal of joy, and the world stands to lose a great deal of beauty.
tertemavi.tk I used to be an artist like that, and then I finished—finally! Change is possible.
I can relate to Paul tremendously! But I have an extreme desire to do the best I can. I write and write and write. I work hard, extra hard, and really hard.