Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Make No Apologies

I finished the underpainting of this one today 
I was recently talking to an artist friend who was starting to second guess her decision to be a full-time artist. Apparently her family and friends were starting to wonder when she would stop with this hobby of hers and get a "real job". It was time to be an adult and a productive member of society and you couldn't do that while being an artist, right? Art is a hobby, it's not a career choice. Nobody can support themselves on art alone. Blah, blah, blah.

Now as a working artist, I've heard these comments, and more, from my own family (not so much from friends...mostly because they are usually artists too), as I am sure most of you have also. Some people don't seem to understand why anyone would give up the security of a "real job" and subject themselves to a subjective and critical art world, especially in this economy. It doesn't seem like a plausible career choice and they don't understand when someone they know makes this decision. Because of this, they feel the need to make comments that can start to wear us down and even second guess ourselves.

As artists, we have to have thick skins. A thick skin is required in order to get over rejections and criticism, but perhaps even more damaging is the doubt and fear we hear from our friends and family about our career choice. These are the people who love us and if they don't think we can make it as artists, then surely we can't, right? WRONG. Our friends and family may mean well but that doesn't mean they know more than we do. They don't understand the passion it takes to be an artist.

I worked on the water a little more today. It's still looking
like sand. I think I will let this "rest" for awhile and work on the woman
while I contemplate how to make the water look like actual water. 
With enough determination, motivation, hard work, and talent it is possible to make a living as an artist. People are doing it even in this economy. You just can't make any apologies to ANYONE for wanting to create art. You can't be afraid to put yourself out there.  You need to work hard and create often. Art may not be a conventional way to make a living, but it is possible. It can be done and I'm going to do it.

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