Why a lot of Men Don’t Become Artists

Perhaps this should be entitled, “Why I think a Lot of Men don’t become Artists”

Yesterday just happened to be International Women’s Day. It’s just a coincidence that this one was in the queue and I mean no disrespect to women in any sense by posting this now. Women in my opinion are the most deserving and yet under-appreciated people on the planet!

If you’re someone who grew up in the sixties and seventies you might find this applies to you. If not it still may be of some help to you, especially if you are male.

Art from where I have seen it is assumed to be either a woman’s thing or for men who are more effeminate. In some way if a man is artistic he is showing his feminine side.

Strange isn’t.

Perhaps I have some unique experience here. Perhaps for you it seems to be the exact opposite or that as many men pursue art as do women.

I worked with a young fellow once who came from the background of the construction industry. In fact he was born into a family who owned a construction business. Once when we were working together on a back shift clean-up-job he shared with me his incredible drawing skills. We often had time at the midnight lunch break to take it easy, joke around and exchange stories. We traded favourite movie scenes; he from James Bond and me from Star Trek. He showed me some fantastic drawings and sketches he did on paper.

I asked him if he would pursue some art or design career. ” Nah, no money in it”, he said. So over the years I periodically met him by chance to  discover he had, indeed kept up in the construction field.

He was not the only male artist that I knew that had had similar experiences. In fact if men can create art sometimes it seems more acceptable for them to paint wildlife,trucks, fishing scenes or other subjects that might lean more toward manliness. I’m certainly not saying there is anything wrong with whatever subject one chooses to paint.

The perception in society is that ‘art’ is not a money maker. It also goes hand-in-hand with the idea that the man is the sole or main bread -winner. As much as I am in sympathy with women and women’s right I think we may tend to forget that out there in the world, still hiding in places is this expectation that men face. Young men want to please their fathers and follow in their foot steps.  I wonder how many men with considerably advanced skills in art or design have followed the perceived path of money to pursue their ancestral, patriarchal dreams?

How many males either don’t see art as a ‘manly’ vocation nor one that will provide the bucks necessary to build a home and family? Besides it’s no insult after all to be compared to female qualities. It’s a good thing!

This would indeed make a good study.  What’s your take on it?

 

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