I have learned over the years that there are two very distinct sides to being an artist. Often you are required to paint or create work that you are completely unattached to and unemotional about. On the other hand, there is a side to art that is most important and most relevant to us. It's the very personal side of our work that is what compels and motivates us to keep working, creating, and sharing our unique visual voice. Both of these sides of being an artist are acceptable when compartmentalized, but when the lines blur has always been an internal struggle for me.
I'm sure most artists would love to have the sort of career in which you paint what you please with supportive galleries and collectors that consistently nurture and validate your work. Unfortunately, this is almost never the case. If you have chosen to make art for a living, then we all must find whatever methods and paths necessary to do so. These days, with the domination of social media and other venues to showcase your art, it is easier but certainly not easy.
I decided to write on this topic because I feel all artists -- whether actors, writers, or visual artists -- have moments when they ask themselves the question "Am I compromising my artistic integrity?" ultimately, the decision is left up to the artist. I respect and whatever an artist decides to do, because in the end, it is about the supporting the vitality of the artistic community at large and pushing their own career forward. That requires commitment, courage, and sometimes compromise.