What is being an artist? At one point in my life I thought “When can I call myself an artist?” I felt like I had the talent, but what happens that “Allows” me to call myself an artist? I concluded, at the time, it was when I was paid for doing art work. I think it was a reasonable conclusion and believe me, I worked for that first $100!
Now what?! Where do I go from that point? I knew after that, what the term “Starving artist” meant. If it wasn’t for me having a full time job, me and my family would have starved, literally! One thing my parents taught me was that a career was my first priority and to have a backup plan for that. Art was just a hobby and never a backup plan to a job. This kept my finances good while as an artist. “It cost money” not “made money”. If you add up all the money in paper and pencils alone, it was far more than the $100 for my first drawing.
At this point it may sound discouraging and that’s because being an artist is discouraging! Surviving as an artist is even more discouraging!!
If I look back I would now say that defining myself as an artist was not the $100 I made on that first drawing. It was the inner struggle that is constantly in me over being an artist or not. Choosing to be an artist is not half the battle but the “Whole!” battle!!
As an artist I think I struggle the most when it comes to which direction to take. I feel like this happens to me more often than most but I think that’s what most people feel. I’ve found that patience in these situations is the hardest thing to have but it is the one essential key to making the right decisions in that moment. Taking a step back to take a deep breath and clear your head also allows decisions to come at the right pace. Believe that you are part of something bigger than the moment you are caught up in. Timing is everything and even though we may feel like we made the wrong decision after the fact, it is later in life that we find out it was the right one.