I Thought You Were An Artist!

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“I Thought You Were An Artist!” These are the exact words uttered by a friend of my daughters when she discovered me working behind the counter of a retail CD/DVD store several years ago.

It’s a common misconception , I think, not only with children or young people that an artist is someone who necessarily makes all of their income with art. I was reading on someone else’s blog recently of how that artist had the bravery to simply admit that  not all of their income was from art alone.  It was interesting to read the ‘sighs’ of relief from many of the commentators how they too rely on various sources of income.  And why not?

It’s great if you can be an artist full-time  and there is no harm in trying.  In fact it makes for good discipline to have a goal in mind. However if we’re all honest with ourselves we are all, as human beings, far too complex to be pigeon holed  into any one vocation or interest.  Many people are artistic, creative, musical, etc.  There is a wide spectrum of  people who live vocationally from their creativity and who , like many others, prefer it as an outlet to their regular job or career.

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My view is that it’s Okay to be who you are, where you are in an artistic sense. There’s something to be said for Target Marketing, Social Media, Establishing a Style but in the end if you’re having no fun with your art then really what’s the point? Sometimes I find myself so anxious ( for lack of a better word ) to get to the next level or to solve ‘that problem’ that I know I miss out on the sense of fun and excitement that is needed to produce good art right now and in the moment.    * Good Art has to come from a stirring of imagination and excitement from our very souls.  If it becomes all about money or achievement then it begins to eclipse the inner light and  artistic vision.  Personally I think Art is very honest.  I think motivation shows through in the final, dare I say, Product.

How do we tune out all the negative static and legitimate but unfocused thoughts that inhibit the creation of good art?  I’m not 100 % sure and open to suggestion.  Some say it is just disciplining and managing our time.  Others say it is a matter of feeling secure enough to freely create ,i.e. not worrying about bills or age or geography or etc, etc.  Maybe in some way it is both.  How do you inspire yourself to be creative..to set the mood?

In the meantime here is a closer view of some art I’ve been working on for a local Cafe chalkboard Menu. I should mention that the lettering was done by a staff member and I think she did a Great job!

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*I define “good art” as art that we are personally happy with.  Oh I know artists are often perfectionists but I mean those pieces of work that alone, in the quiet moments, make  us do that little happy dance…at least figuratively.  :^) 

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10 comments on “I Thought You Were An Artist!

  1. Oh I know! We all have side jobs to make ends meet. Some are art related, some are temporary, but when there’s a family to support, we do what we’ve got to do. I think that sometimes the angst from doing something else to live on can spur all kinds of inspiration and renew the passion to bring new challenges and inspiration to our work.

  2. As always Kevin very well written with depth but yet compassion for the other person. Your artistic work is always appreciated by this person…thank you for sharing your thoughts…

  3. Kevin I like this post and I am in agreement also with what you say. I don’t have a magic wand and always believe that first of all you should enjoy what you do as that what help you to be inspired and creative. If you also manage to make a living out of it absolutly great. However we know that now a day in our economy it is not that easy. But not everything in life is about money in my opinion. I come from another direction and art gave me new purpose in life new activity during illness and I can assure you that with out it the story would be very sad. This hour or two a day I manage to keep the pains in the background while I am in another planet, no money in the world could buy. So there are many ways to look and appreciate it and no doubt I feel that if you are being able to do it as long as you feel as long as you enjoy it, is great value by all means. Everything in life is subject to the reality of what you can do and what you can’t and being realistic about what you can perform is important. It is for sure don’t make you better or worse artist. I think that in art there is that quality of the ability to enjoy what you do and create what you like that is fun to be part off which hard to get in many other activities. If you can look at your work and smile feel achievment it is a great pleasure, after all it is a privilege to be able and create. Most people will consider it as a hobby and nothing more. Thanks for visiting and commenting about my work.

    • Very well said! I appreciate that you read my posts. Art is a precious gift and helps beyond words as you say even with pain.
      I like to try and sort things out in my own mind so I suppose that is one reason why I write. I like the wisdom in what you say/ have said here. Thank you.

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