A while ago I posted about an issue which many artists can relate to – the things people sometimes say to us: Things that Artists Hate to Hear.
Over the years, I’ve had many discouraging and stereotypical remarks said to me about being an artist.
Ever since I decided to pursue art, I’ve had to endure these artist stereotypes:
- I will never make any money with art.
- I will be a starving artist
- I am wasting my time… and should be doing something more productive to make money. - “Get a real job!”
- Artists only become famous after they are dead.
I will never make any money with art
People either say I should be making lots of money with my art, or I will never make any substantial income from art. They do not understand that creating art for me is not about making money – it’s something I love and am compelled to do.
Don’t get me wrong – I love selling my art – but its not something I think about when I’m painting. Of course, when I tell someone it’s not about making money, the typical response is that I’m wasting my time.
Mackerel – 2013 - Graham Matthews
I am wasting my time
I’ve had people say to me that I should be doing something more productive to make money – I should get a real job. These are the same people who spend hours every day watching TV or wasting away time on Facebook.
I did have a non art job for a few years – but I didn’t see it as productive at all. Yes, I was making money, but it wasn’t something I enjoyed – and I was still living from paycheck to paycheck. I felt I was wasting my life away by working at this job, when I wished I was doing something else – creating art.
Incandescence – 2013 - Graham Matthews
I will be a starving artist
It’s true that artists have often had to struggle to make ends meet. But, the artists I know are smart with their money and I have rarely seen any go hungry. The artists I know know the value of a dollar and how to spend money wisely.
I have often heard the saying “The less money you have, the happier you are.” This rings true for me! I don’t have much money – but I’m plenty happy writing about art and making art!
Fish Eyes – 2013 - Graham Matthews
Artists only become famous after they are dead
I’ve had this said to me numerous times! They are basically saying that its hopeless for me to paint. I will never become famous in this life. That last part could be true – but I do not create art hoping for fame, and I know most other artists do not as well. I do it because it’s how I express myself – it’s how I communicate my thoughts, fears, regrets and emotions. Without art, I would probably keep it bottled up and eventually explode – not a pretty sight! :)
Fish Monument – 2013 - Graham Matthews
To be perfectly honest, I do not want to be famous. I’m perfectly happy just getting by! As long as I have a new painting on my easel, I will always be ok. Does anyone else feel the same way?
Have you read this post yet about one of the greatest lessons I have learned in life?
What stereotypes have you had to endure as an artist?