I am not a typical artist (is there such a thing?) I do not have a fine arts degree... I do not have a background in fine arts nor did I grow up in a culturally rich environment.
I DID grow up in a very creative family... my father was an incredibly talented and probably frustrated artist. He could draw anything and one of my favorite memories is the mural he drew on the kitchen wall in oils depicting a winter snow scene. And my mom... well she could whip up curtains, coverlet and pillows in an afternoon without aid of a pattern (she did this on occasion.)
So the creative blood flows through these veins for sure..... and I'm so happy that I have found myself navigating this path. I learn something new, fresh, and amazing daily. One thing that I wasn't prepared for, though, was this idea of the starving artist. I mean, yes, I'd heard that phrase... but, I really had no idea how much this idea permeated our own culture.
I am feeling a little more fired up than usual about this topic because of an online group I belong to. A question was posed by a disappointed artist who had signed up for yet another course promising to teach how to not only make a living but become rich by selling your artwork. She felt scammed because the content was not focused on how to go about building an art business, rather it was about how to host webinars much like the one she was attending. It was rather like the old ads in the newspapers claiming to teach you how to make a million dollars, just send $1 in a stamped self-address envelope and the advice was 'place an ad in the newspaper.......'
I wasn't fired up about her disappointment or the fact that she was trying to discover how to create a business for herself... I was more taken aback by the group's host response. She said that (true) artists are not in it for the money... they are in it to create beauty in the world or to tell a story visually.
And granted, these things can definitely be true. HOWEVER, that does NOT mean we can't build a business or aspire to live abundantly or successfully (however we define this for ourselves) through our art. It's a crazy notion. And even more than that, it's a harmful one. We are being taught that somehow the desire to earn money makes us less than.
I'm calling Bullshit. Stop this insanity. Artists who follow their passions deserve support.... not disdain simply because they are trying to make money.
The world of art is definitely changing because of the internet. No longer is there one clear definition about what success looks like. And now more than ever it has become very accessible to the many. And more art in the world? Can that really be a bad thing?
Art heals. Art transforms.
Stepping down now, from my soapbox.