So in my last blog I spoke about my negative experiences as a child wanting to become an artist. So this time I wanted to speak about what came next and something I hold particularly close to my heart.
Once you cross from childhood to adulthood you are suddenly hit over the head with the weight of responsibility. Much of society is geared towards funnelling us into neat little areas of work and study. Some will hold art close to their heart and go into the traditional work force, perhaps with another passion or perhaps to meet the financial burden. Others will find an industry that they feel offers them an artistic outlet but still be finically viable. The last group are possibly the craziest of all. This small group will decide to pursue their love of art as a full time Artist.
Today I am going to aim this blog at those crazy creatives, who throw caution somewhat to the wind and start the (almost always) rocky road to success. Why is it almost always rocky? Because an Artist is seen to be a poor choice of career. You will get sad looks, sympathetic pats on the arm and the odd motivational piece of advice about how it's still not too late to turn your life around and get a "real" job. Before you panic and start planning for a new trade just hang on a minute. Is this really what it's like to be a professional Artist?
Once upon a time, an artist was not an artist if they did not starve. In fact false information was so rampant the idea that you couldn't garner a decent price for your work until you died was/is a widely held belief. There are some major historical Artists that were rumoured to be so poor, when in fact the truth of the matter is they were suitably well off. Artists do not have to starve.
I'll just let that sink in for a minute...
Yesterday I sat in a cafe with a group of people dressed in professional attire, talking shop and you guessed it, they were all professionally creative. Professionally what? Professionally creative. It's a term I have started to use meaning those that create for a living. Now that could be fine art, photography, writing or any other "arty" industry. Yet when people hear art they assume paintings so I have adopted something a little more welcoming.
So how did I get here? Well out of school I tried to join the traditional work force and support several artistic endeavours. The idea was I would work a "real" job until my partners art career took off. Did I mentioned I married a fellow artist? Yes we really felt like we were against the world I can tell you. Peoples faces literally fell when they worked out we BOTH were "starving artists". It's hard not to believe that myth when its all you hear. We couldn't both afford to study/pursue art at the same time so we came up with the plan to take turns. Makes great sense doesn't it? Just wait...
I was working four jobs. A retail position, a position in the animal industry to keep my finger on the pulse of all things furry, tutoring art and on the weekends we attended markets with our own business. We were young and very busy!
But life has a way of telling you when you are headed in the wrong direction.
I could write a novel about the difficult years, the hurdles and bias but I won't, not today. This lead me to the very lowest of low. It was here that I suddenly realised I could turn to my art as a career. I had nothing to lose financially. I was of value. I had something to offer the world. Like magic, the moment that I put it out in the universe things happened.
Just like that I was an Artist. I learnt very quickly that if YOU don't take yourself seriously nor will anyone else. So I stopped with the negativity of the past. When someone asks what do you do? I say "I'm an Artist". I ignore those sad looks, smile and behave professionally. Just like everyone else does. Back then there were almost no businesses looking at the career artists. Now if you google it, you will come up with dozens of results. Everything you need to know.
The Artist is no longer a beggar on the street, they are that person in the suit that just passed you carrying a briefcase on the way to work. There are a number of courses geared just for them on how to be successful. Yet each one has had to deal with that stereotypical image of being professionally creative. Many have had to go against what society says is acceptable or even family and strike out on their own paving the way for those that follow.
I can name a number of individuals that own homes, cars etc. and I can even think of a handful that have had to employ their partners to help them with the work load. So I think we can safely tuck away the myth that an artist is a poor man who will never know financial success. Those days are long gone.
Natasha from Dawn Photography started her own business as a creative professional and clearly reaching all her goals.
This is the age of the rise of the professional creative.
With this in mind I'd like to introduce the "Crazy Creatives". A group for all those professional creatives (in what ever art form you embrace). A place to celebrate our uniqueness and our ability to succeed. We are thought to be crazy but I am proud to be an Artist. I am proud to be a crazy creative and I invite all those in the same boat to join us. This isn't a place to learn how to become professional I'm afraid but if you are struggling to find like minded people in that regard, I am more than happy to answer emails and direct people to groups I have found helpful.
Follow the link below and be ready for some exciting events and offers geared at embracing our creative hearts.
I hope you have enjoyed my latest blog and I will catch you all next time xx.