‘artist’ is a word and concept saturated in various preconceived ideas and notions. The word ignites visions of everything from romantic bohemian creatives to tortured individuals intensely compelled to express themselves. The word has such weight and historical significance to it that I shied away from calling myself one till my thirties. Even though I had been making my living from my art since college. It seemed in my mind that to be able to call oneself an artist the title had to be earned. Earned through experience, outward and internal validation and by feeling confident in the art that you were presenting to the world. And not unlike most professions an artist’s path is always fluctuating and evolving. There can never be clear answers and often wealth and connections take the place of talent and hard work.
It saddens me to see this. Unfortunately the art world can often be superficial at times and the best art and artists are not always granted the prestige and accolades they deserve. I decided to write my thoughts on this subject really as a way to put to paper what to me is painfully apparent. That there are no easy and fast steps to becoming an artist. No sure fire solution as some might lead you to believe. While there are a very small percentage who are successful immediately this is rare. I think the best advice is to continue to work, keep the big picture in mind and remember the ‘why’ of what you are doing. Also above all… take risks. Risks equal creativity. They help to make your work unique. Focus on the realization that art is simply something you are compelled to do. Your art is beyond you and will remain and appreciated after you.