There's so many slants on the topic of Art. Frankly as it pertains to writing, LGC covered the Writer as Artist beautifully yesterday at the Pens. So let's talk about the Working Artist.
Here's a fun fact: I was in art school when I first moved out to California twenty years ago.
I was going to school for Interior Design but I still had to take the general art education classes which I LOVED, but no one will ever call me a visual artist. One semester I had two vastly different professors. They were both WONDERFUL artists. One, a painter of both oil and watercolor, who taught my Color Class. The other, an artist who did amazing still life in pencil, who taught Drawing 101.
The Painter lamented to us students day in and day out about how difficult it was to make a living. Being an artist sucked. He couldn't find outlets to sell his work. He couldn't support himself on his art alone which was why he was in the classroom teaching. Starving artist wasn't just a label it was his reality he would tell us bitterly.
The Line Artist (for lack of a better word) painted a picture of prosperity. He loved line drawings, he took commissions and people had begun to seek him out for specific projects. He was doing well, supporting himself, AND doing what he loved. He taught young students to share his knowledge and his LOVE of art.
If I'd had them separate semesters I might never have noticed the extreme dichotomy. But listening to them both made me realize that I wanted to be like the Line Artist. That it was possible to be commercial and be artistic, the two are not mutually exclusive.
And it really brought home that we all have a choice in how we perceive our life, our profession and our art. I choose to be a working artist. How about you?