I read two interesting blog posts lately about what makes a professional artist. Joanne Mattera posted on her blog on Monday “Who Is A Professional Artist?” and it’s a very interesting read including the comments. And Kim Radatz on her blog, “Thinking Out Loud” has an interesting response post on the same subject.
Are you an artist if you work in your studio every day? Or are you only an artist if you are selling your work or gallery represented? Now nowhere have I said are you a ‘good’ artist. That’s not part of this question. The question is – are you still an artist if you are not selling?
For me I am an artist because it’s as necessary as eating or sleeping. It’s how I express myself in my world. And I believe folks throughout history who are of the same disposition have figured out ways to be ‘artists’ without earning an income with their art. Money is really not the motivator. It’s true we all need to eat and have a place to lay our heads, but I believe we work that out through grants, patrons, spouses and part-time jobs when necessary. It’s my opinion that artists want to sell or be in galleries as a form of acceptance for their body of work. When a piece sells it’s as if we get the applause that performance artists receive, but I also have come to learn that what other people think about my work has nothing to do with how I feel about myself as an artist.
What do you think? Are you an artist?
Above is my most recent acrylic painting and I continue to add completed sketchbook pages on a previous post.
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive (. . . ) Without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless creating.”
- Pearl Buck on the creative mind