The way of becoming an artist wasn’t for me quite like I would have thought or hoped. I thought the road would be straighter and shorter, but it was curvy, bumpy and covered with a lot of huge rocks. I thought other people would want the same things as me and would naturally support me with my dreams, but they didn’t. I spent many years in limbo, not having the courage to take action in spite of not having support. I’m lucky though that I didn’t ever quite lose my vision, and I knew a life full of freedom and independence was there. Probably because I was able to keep on seeing even a little light in the darkness, things have started to unfold, and a lot of good is now happening.
I’ve understood that there actually is support available, even for me! There are some people who think like me or have similar experiences. There are good books and good courses. Making art itself is support. Realizing that has made me want to paint every day. Before that I had a long period when I was reluctant to paint, as it felt somehow meaningless, even though it’s what I want to do more than anything.
I’ve been listening to interviews in the Right-Brainers in Business video summit and they have been very helpful. It’s the second week of the summit now, so if you’re interested, there’s still time to see many more interviews. Lilla Rogers, an artists’ agent, gave a very good talk. I’ve taken her Make Art That Sells course (and am currently on part B). It’s been a lot of work but given so much. In the interview she said it is damaging to discourage people into believing that one can’t make living as an artist. How can someone have the right to cut a creative person’s wings! But she knows it’s not true. She has made money as an artist and so have so many others. Unfortunately so many non-artists, artists and art teachers repeat the mantra that artists are poor and there are opportunities to only so and so many, and the rest should get a real job. When I was studying in art school recently for two years, I was shocked how even the teachers tried to make the students understand that there isn’t much money around for artists. Let’s not believe in that anymore. There is and will always be ways to make money as an artist.
Feed the Beast
Lilla also reminded us that you have to feed the beast, meaning how important it is to find suitable inspiration. Take courses, surround yourself with people who inspire you, go to places that give you ideas and keep you excited. This will help you make new and fresh art, because the clients’ needs change and you will probably too want to always evolve and keep yourself passionate about your art.
Lilla made a strong point that it really is important to choose, if you have many things you want to do. If you choose, other things will come out of it. She said to choose based on lifestyle you want. If you feel like drawing at home, find out how you could make that reality. Don’t choose something that doesn’t feel good to you at this point of your life.
I want to encourage all other insecure artists out there to believe in your dreams. Find people who understand you, who have similar dreams, believe in creating a life they want and are willing to help others too!