Wednesday, October 14, 2015
What exactly is "Ideal?"
After a recent mail-out; I realized that some people who follow me wanted to know more about the "real me". Or should I say get some perspective on how I think and what drives me to create. I will attempt more personal posts to try to portray that.
I have found that many people idealize and romanticize the artist's life. It certainly is not a bed of roses....but whatever it is I would rather lay here than anywhere else.
Tips for younger artists? Yes....if you really want to do this, then start early. Find other sources of income that are art related and DO NOT take up too much time. Live as cheaply as possible. Know that the parties and restaurants and missing those fetes and carnivals if you have to; will be worth it in the end. Because you will find contentment, and that contentment will be there even when bills are coming, and the cash hasn't gotten to you yet. :)
Before I proceed to romanticize the profession more, know that it is HARD WORK. A painting CAN drain your energy. Working on commissions can also drain your energy. Some days your brain and the painting will not mesh. Some days NOTHING will come and the lack of vision and direction can be exasperating to tears! Sometimes a week will pass.....and the anxiety of not producing can step in and snowball.....causing even less focus to produce........and then there will be NOTHING to sell and then no bills would be paid and....ooooohhhhh......love that shade of purple!
Know too that your cash flow will be erratic, and if you have gotten into that mode of expecting money every month you had better snap put of it and make sure those bills are payed in advance to compensate.
Artists do not make much money, at least in the early days. My bills are covered.....and believe you me that's all I focus on. The sense of peace doing what you enjoy and looking forward to EVERY day is so fantastic, I do not mind cutting back on luxuries and enjoyments; because all my enjoyments can be found at home.
But then, an artist loves to create...I love to create.....that sometimes includes creating a comfortable home space.....creating delicious meals.....creating a new garden (although paying rent can seriously limit those efforts). These things give us much pleasure. For me, I realized that the satisfaction I get from creating CANNOT be replaced by shopping or partying or liming..... buying things gives a very short-lived burst of happiness which is gone the next day. BUT continuous creating??? Well....that satisfied feeling is there often.
What I enjoy most is the moments of happiness are truer, more frequent. Contentment is present more often. I no longer have to juggle responsibility to a boss and to family. My work IS responsibility to my family, which brings a "whole" sense I think.
Contentment is now found in a simpler life. Less bills, less stuff, a more refined life which has been trimmed down to only what you enjoy and what is still necessary for your children. Your goals get refined to what is REALLY important.
If you are looking to make lots of money.....don't be an artist.
But then..... I never knew ant artist who focused on the money...... even though it came for some eventually. :)
But back to the question : " what is ideal?" We seek the ideal life. A friend of mine will say " To what end.
Much like the quote above, we can reach a point....and then that point will be the launch pad for some new venture.
And the journey never ends......but do we really want it to???