Not gonna lie.. being a Professional Artist ain't a cake walk. So unless you have a giant sign that says HEY, BUY MY SHIT - that people actually listen to.. you may find it a little difficult depending on your art business as an only source of income.
But with our powers combined.. we can save the Starving Artist club that alot of us currently belong to. Another Captain Planet metaphor, they for sure know you're a super nerd now. Damnit.
I was recently contacted on my Facebook page by a fellow artist who, like me, is just trying to spread her art and sell some stuff. She asked if we could both share each others pages in an attempt to gain more followers. What an awesome idea. Why the hell haven't I thought of this. The art business is a tough one. Wait. Scratch that. Gaining a loyal band of art hungry followers is the tough part. If you were to have an army of customers crazy for your art, and readily awaiting the release of each new piece you create, business would be easy peasy lemon squeezy.
But here in real life. Shit ain't so easy. So how is an artist to make it in this dog-eat-dog-then-poop-on-artist world? We stick together, that's how!
I'm kind of on an artistic pity-party role right now, so imma keep going... Artists face alot of challenges starting pretty early on in their career. And when I say career I mean life.
I have a story about a girl. Let's say this girl's name is Becca and she's an artist. Has been ever sense she was little and use to get in trouble for drawing little comics and shit all over her desk in second grade and the teacher would show her parents at open house then she'd have to clean it off in front of them.
Becca always made art. And was excited to get to highschool where they had actual real-life art classes with real-life art teachers - not the fake ones, who had gave you elmer's glue and macaroni and acted like the shit you created belonged in the Louvre. She stayed in trouble here too, for skipping other meaningless classes - like gym - to spend more time in the art room. But her passionate love for art grew. She got an art scholarship, and thought for sure she was going to an art college. So when her parents said that the art schools were to expensive and far away her heart was broken. She felt like she took a bullet to the chest.
She made due with a local university who had a pretty good art program, and knew that's what she wanted to do. But soon she found out - because everyone in her life kept telling her - that "being an artist" apparently wasn't a real, or smart career choice. So she reluctantly declared a psychology major. Shortly there after changing it to education. Then to something else. Then something else. She searched the great land of obscure college majors, looking for one to suit her. But they all fell short. Wanna know why? Cause they weren't art. If the puzzle of your soul was born with an art shaped puzzle piece, nothing else is gonna fit in their and feel right. You'll always feel like you're falling short on self-fulfillment if you were born an artist but you're not making art. So Becca said, 'screw it, imma do art'.. And declared a FineArts major. However, her eager little painting heart was shot down again, this time by her art professors.
"Real artists do everything this way"
"You have to paint what other people want, not what you want"
"If the collective doesn't like the way you've prepared this piece, then you must change it"
"I think you need to paint this way, not that way"
All the things Becca was being "taught" in art class to be the "right" things an artist should do and know, were all so very wrong compared to what she knew to be right in her heart. So, after much (little) debate, and some soul searching (smoking weed) she decided, with a clear mind (nope) to take a break from (quit) school, and strike out on her own (be poor, or live with mom&dad). And now she's a super famous and very rich artist. (the last part is extremely untrue)
Yes, I just wrote like four paragraphs referring to myself in the third person - hate on it.
But the moral of the kinda (mostly) weird Becca story (which is about me, If you haven't already figured that out..cause you should have) is this: ArtLife sucks. Wait.. no, life sucks. Just in general. And being an artist is hard. So Art Life double sucks. As an artist you're always going to have people telling you that you can't make a career or living from being an artist. People, even fellow artists and people who you thought were there to support you, may try to control the way you do art, and try and take away your artistic personality. You're even going to have competing artists who may be nasty to you, or try to put you and your art down because they think by doing so, it somehow lifts them up and makes them better. And when any of this happens, you know what you do? You say FUCK THAT NOISE. I don't need a super fancy job title to know I am a professional. I don't need the approval of anyone, especially other artists. I don't need everyone to like, appreciate, or enjoy all my work. I don't need to sacrifice doing the art that makes me happy simply to make everyone else happy. I don't have to water myself or my art down in order to not offend anyone. And I don't need to perfectly fit into the four confining walls of the box that society wants me to stay in. This is my circus, and these are my monkeys. Imma do me, you can watch, maybe even support, or you can look away. That's all there is. And it's not just me with the bullet-holed heart. There's alot of artists our there whose hearts feel like they went a round with Tony Montanna - and his little friend fucked you up. But, we can find peace in the fact (and maybe some band-aids) that we're not alone. And we can gain strength by banning together.
Help a bitch out. Share my page, and I'll share yours. Support other local artists like yourself. Buy some artwork from other up and coming artists. When you see other artists trying to start their business or career, recognize the struggle, reach out so they know they're not alone. It's ok that we have little support elsewhere if we have a strong support system amongst ourselves.
Now, all you have to do is
art by Shohei Otomo