Monday, August 1, 2011

Life as an Artist

Recently a Facebook Friend of mine posted a thread asking everyone their thoughts on Selling as an Artist. She said that it seems that American artists seem to be most concerned with selling then with making a social impact or leaving a legacy, more so than artists in other countries.
Here was my reply after someone else criticized artists who sell.

It is in my sole being to create. If not for my art I could not exist as who I am. I was educated in my craft, I teach others my craft to help them realize their Art. I struggle as a full time professional artist to live as such, I got a degree so that I would have the skills to make my living off of my art. My work is my Art, My Art is my work, financial and so on. I teach, volunteer, and donate my time and work, I am involved so that I can be immersed. In the moments when Art does not sustain me physically and financially, I work other jobs to supplement. Sometimes I create for the benefit of others, sometimes its solely expressive. I make what I like, if someone else likes it too great! Sometimes my intent is to make it specifically for others. Many times I just have a great idea, many times I have a deep emotional concept I wish to portray. I enter exhibitions for prestige and to leave a lasting impression. Many pieces are hard to part with and I probably never will, I spend so much time on a piece that it is difficult to let go of that piece of me. Do I sell, yes, do I make a profit, well… School Loans, Materials, Tools, and Metal is expensive… so No. I struggle with having to live and having to be an artist, it doesn’t always pay the bills, so I teach to remain in the midst of creative energy. My friends are mostly Artists too and understand. To be an Artist is to be immersed in what you love or feel the need to do, and to say that one must only give away or keep their art and cannot profit enough to live comfortably with their art, isn’t realistic. In other countries throughout history craftsman and artists work most of their lives as apprentices to be educated and hone the skills to become good enough to make the money for what they do.

Holly Carter, Metals Artist & Instructor

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