People have this misconception that just because you’re an artist life is one walk in the park – I mean who wouldn’t want to make pretty pictures all day. That’s not serious stuff right? I mean that’s easy to do, right? You don’t take it seriously do you?
Well yes, I do actually, I’m trying to make some form of income from it. No, it is not all frivolous colour and paint and ink and drawing, and making stuff that looks good. It is frigging hard work. Here are some of the hats I wear:
- Book keeper
- PR officer
- Project manager
- Sales rep
- Social media co-ordinator and website administrator
- Delivery (wo)man
- General dog’s body.
The list does not stop there and as you can see, while artist is at the top of the tree, it forms a very small part of what I need to do to get my work out there … and THAT interferes with my primary purpose. I am constantly trying to find the balance between creating and the rest.
Right now, I’m feeling stuck. I have lots and lots and lots of ideas. Images invade my sleep, my brain is in overdrive and I end up completely stumped. Where do I start? What should I do? WILL IT SELL? SHOULD I EVEN CARE IF IT SELLS OR NOT?
It would be nice to say it doesn’t really matter. Just follow my heart’s desire. But then there’s the real world. There are bills to pay and kids to support through university. Therein lies the rub. I want – possibly need, to play with lots of different types of media, printmaking being one of many avenues. I also want to paint, to explore photography, to make things. What I don’t know is, if I indulge myself and play will that in turn, lead to something far better than anything I’ve done to date, or will these things just turn out to be a distraction from where I should be concentrating my efforts.
And even if I stick to printmaking the thing that completely stymies me is does it matter if I’m working on totally abstract subject matter one day, floral monotypes the next day, prints based on Hexham Abbey the next day, playing with pattern or natural materials the next and so on. How consistent does my subject matter have to be? It’s so BORING isn’t it to keep doing the same thing over and over again just a little bit different … isn’t it?
There are times when I’m tempted to just walk away from it all … but I can’t … being creative is an integral part of who I am. I am simply incapable of not creating art for better or worse, whether anyone else wants it or not. Trouble is I’m not Picasso. I believe he used to simply move out of his apartment in Paris when there was no more room and start again. I don’t have that luxury.
And my apologies if all this sound like one great whinge. That is not my intention. It’s a bit like thinking aloud. Sometimes you have to put it down on paper, (or not he computer screen) to help figure out WHAT …. WHAT AM I MEANT TO DO? I know I’m not alone in this. My good friend and artist, Michelle Milburn has put out a post on the same subject today. It was her post that inspired my to write mine.
There must be others out there. If you are one of them perhaps you might leave a comment below or on my Facebook page. I’d love to hear your take on it.