nervousmotion artworks blog

Life is hard.

This post explores the problem of trying to make a living as an artist and why it is freaking impossible. [via Artnewsblog]

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, I have a lot of art to do – commissions, collaborations, in short stuff that I NEED to be doing because it is going to bring in money, absolutely, no question about it. And then there’s the stuff that I feel compelled to do, the projects that I’m working on that I only hope will be in a gallery and then maybe someone will buy some and there’s the money-making potential, even though it’s less definite. And this takes a lot of time. Especially since not everything you do as an artist is good and not every project turns out the way you want it to and sometimes you realize that you’ve just wasted the last [insert amount of time here] on a pile of crap.

It also takes a lot of time to be working full time. One of the pieces of advice in Alec: How to Be An Artist by Eddie Campbell is to get a crappy job – one that you don’t mind quitting if you become successful or if a better job comes along. I certainly have that job. I actually love my work, but I wouldn’t be sad for a minute if something better came along and I quit. I also am fortunate enough to have the type of job that involves no mental energy whatsoever, so I’m not drained when I come home from work (I’m just physically exhausted, which is a more reasonable problem to deal with when I can SIT in my studio).

I do wish that I had some sort of job wherein I was involved more in art, I’m stretched pretty thin at the moment, but so it goes. I am lucky enough to be an artist living with health insurance and a 401(k), which is more than I would have if I quit my job to starve in my garret.


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