The ART of It

14 Jan

I am treading the fine line of being a starving artist and arting for a living.

I need to create to stay sane, this is true. But, being on disability and unemployed, I also need the income. Badly. It’s terrifying not knowing if you are not going to have the funds at the first of the month that you need to weather the month. So, you put your art of there to praises of omgs and applause, but when it comes down to people actually liking or wanting it enough to purchase it is a very different game of broken chess pieces. It’s discouraging. Learning the balance between greased hand jerk offs and authenticity is a challenge. It’s hard to decipher the difference between bullshit, bravado, and buying the cow – without taking it all personal and getting your feelings hurt. Of course you enjoy the praise. As an artist, I think that is something we all seek on some level. If an artist tells you otherwise, I call bullshit. You wouldn’t share it if there were not at least some modicum of “look at what I did.”

What I am learning, is there is MY ART. And then there is disposable art that people will buy. They are very, very different things.

I have, less and less, been sharing MY ART.


Because of the few pieces I have shared, and gotten the glory for, and then in desperation put up for sale, they have been rejected (or neglected – or not purchased, how ever you want to look at it). I don’t do rejection well. At. All. I have a HUGE insecurity complex. I have a problem with not being good enough. Or right. Or liked. Or wanted. It’s a demon I make love to on a daily basis. It’s something I deal with. So when something is woo-hoo’d up, then ignored or discarded, it really makes me question the validity of EVERY positive remark. Maybe it’s NOT good enough. Maybe they DON’T really like my stuff. Maybe it’s NOT really all that great. Maybe they are just being nice. Maybe they just don’t want to hurt my feelings.

Maybe I shouldn’t even bother.

So I tend to stop bothering.

At all. I just quit.

And that causes even more problems… Because, as I said, I NEED to create.

So finding the balance between what IS and what SELLS is a journey in and of itself. It’s two different worlds. Learning how to exist in both worlds is my mission now, without losing myself in the process. I have to make money. But I have to make what is in my spirit as well.


Maybe I should just cut off and ear and put THAT up on mother fucking Etsy.

I really applaud any artist that has figured it out.

But, then again, I look at that art and think W? T? F?  That art never appeals to me.

That’s the game, though, isn’t it???

5 Responses to “The ART of It”

  1. Jotter Girl January 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    It is a very complicated world that we live in as artists. I have experienced much of what you have written about and it is frustrating and confidence piercing. My solution has been 1)Paint what I love for people I love
    2) Put together for something very affordable and saleable to make money that is still me.
    3) Offer services that people can seek me out for such as refinishing and painting furniture. Doing decorative painting in someone’s home.

    Although, right now, I am not supporting myself as an artist, I have done it this way in the past. I have some ideas for you that I’ll send you in an email.

  2. Jo-Anne January 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    My problem is that I although I love art my husband finds it a wast of money and I think there are others who have the same problem. From what I have seen of your art it is awesome and I like it but I can also tell you that hubby would mostly screw his nose up at it and say something stupid. It is is also terrible for artists at this time with money being so tight for so many people that art is often seen as an unnecessary expense………………..

  3. lolamouse January 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Please don’t be discouraged. As Jo-Anne says, it’s a tough economy for everyone right now. Another issue that I’ve struggled with is that while I have absolutely no problem buying gifts for others, I feel guilt buying things for myself, and a piece of art I love is for me. It’s very hard to buy art for someone else, especially something meaningful and/or unique, as it may not be what they like. I’ll bet that a lot of people who follow your work and love it are unable or unwilling to spend on themselves. Whatever you do, don’t make art you don’t believe in. That will surely make you feel dis-spirited. Hang in there.

  4. missannethrope75 January 15, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    I love all of your art, and I would buy every piece of it. But, I am a broke bitch. 🙂 I do, however, plan on buying something that you make, when my cash flow isn’t so damned up.

    The eye of the beholder can be deceiving to the beholder. Those who can afford to buy art can be snotty bitches about it, and those who cannot afford it, I think, have a freer mind when gazing upon art. Also, having to sell your soul, so you can have some money is not betraying you, or your art. You have to survive, and this is why artists, and writers will produce what is digestable for society, and then have various side projects so their personal creativity does not die.

    There is my piece of unsolicited advice. 🙂

    Your fellow padded room cellmate,
    Robyn(yes, I finally got a wordpress account)

  5. mel January 15, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    oh sweet jesus how i could ramble on at unearthly lengths on this very subject….but i’ll spare you the agony.

    i know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. EXACTLY.

    it might help you to know that it’s not just the realm of art — when i was an apprentice jockey i had people coming out of the woodwork telling me how brilliant a rider i was and how they’d let me ride this horse and that horse but when it came down to it they were full of shit and i just wasn’t wiling to play the politics required to whore myself at the appropriate level for success.

    sometimes people just suck.

    i think the trouble is, too, that we tend to hang around with other artists who are just as broke as we are so our immediate circle of influence isn’t in any position to buy…..and i’m told it’s all about finding your ‘market’….

    love you…


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