Dec
05

Is Starving an Artistic Risk?

According to Wikipedia a starving artist is: someone who sacrifices material well-being in order to focus on their artwork. Typically living on minimum expenses, either for a lack of business or because all their disposable income goes towards art projects. Some starving artists desire mainstream success but have difficulty due to the high barriers in art such as visual arts, the film industry, and theatre. These artists frequently take temporary positions (such as waitering or other service industry jobs) while they focus their attention on breaking through in their preferred field.

According to Merriam-Webster, risk is defined as: the possibility of loss or injury : peril

If we financially place ourselves in low paying or dead end jobs are we expanding or limiting our artistic potential?

If you can’t pay your rent, and your big artistic break isn’t showing up at what point exactly are your choices in life diminishing? Is it when it comes down to leaving the profession you chose because you simply can’t pay your bills?

Or is it when your disregard for your mental, physical and economic health erodes your happiness and self-confidence?

Or is it when many of your life goals have a serious life sucks “gap” between what you hoped to accomplish and what you actually can accomplish?

Or maybe its when you feel like your creativity and imagination are almost all gone because you cannot endure the difficulty of a life that does not inspire your evolution and creative abilities?

Is it worth your time to consider if there is another path, one that only you can imagine, that can fill your artistic potential and provide you with a host of economic options?

How much value exactly do you place on nurturing, protecting and supporting a life filled with your own creativity?

  • Fight the good fight.

  • Once in awhile I pull out “The Artist Mentor” by Ian Jackman (Inspiration from the World’s Most Creative Minds) to reread. Chapter 4 is titled “Making A Living”. At the end of the chapter Clyfford Still is quoted. “It is frequently remarked that all the successful artist look like businessmen.’ The fact is, they are shrewd, politically sensitive, and tough businessmen who dabble in painting. Of good intelligence and fair insight, a spark of creative revolt can scarcely be found in the entire lot.” (page 66). I would like to hear other’s thoughts on that quote as I think it rings with truth?

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