Friday, April 20, 2012

Artist Going Crazy!

I know I am not the only artist out there that feels like I am going completely nuts sometimes.
Your mind is racing with all of the ideas of things you want to create! All of the techniques and different mediums you want to use!
How can we possibly do it all? When will there ever be enough time in the day?

Do you try and try to fall asleep, but just can't? You are so darn tired, but your mind just won't stop!

As a professional artist and instructor, it's not just about what artsy thing I want to do next, but how am I going to make enough money so that I can keep up this life style? (if that's what you want to call it!)
Art is not really selling much these days and everybody wants to be creative and try their hand at selling. The jewelry market is overly saturated with sub-par handmade goods and cheap imports. So we worry about how we are going to get more students to sign up for our classes? Driving from art center to art center to make sure you can get as many classes as you need to live and get a decent paycheck. 'Gotta send out emails and work on my syllabi, better post some classes on Facebook, the blog, website, oh and don't forget about Craigslist! Crap, I have been forgetting about Craigslist!'
And then, the mind goes back to 'I really want to start this new project, but, damn it, I have sooo many that are waiting, unfinished!' 'Maybe if I change this and that, things will start selling, but  then am I being true to myself and my art?'
I think I am going to pull all my hair out sometimes! It's not that life these days is really all that bad, it's just that there is sooo much to think about all the time. Sometimes you can't stop trying to figure out which thing you should work on first so much, that you don't actually end up getting anything done at all.

How about the fear, every time you sell something that they may want to return it after you have already paid your bills with the money, even though you say NO Returns. Or, that something will need a repair. Or, when you get a call that during installation for an exhibition THEY broke your piece. It's heart breaking when something breaks. It's like a piece of your soul just left you.

It is so much more than just making art, but also self promotion. Keeping up with a blog, posting pictures on your Facebook fan page, posting new items on Etsy and renewing expired old items that haven't sold yet, adding events to all of sites you have, getting your personal website perfect, being involved with the many art groups you are in, getting info to galleries and shops, photographs, entering juried exhibitions, and there is always more. Phew! I just get tired typing it all!
Too bad most artists can't afford promoters! Oh, yeah, that's right we do, it's us!
Although, sometimes an artist will get lucky enough to have a significant other or family member that helps, but few of us do. And, if you are REALLY lucky your significant other makes enough money to support both of you! But, oh no, what happens when both of you are artists? So we get two or three or four part time jobs.

Well, how about the health stuff? Sorry, who has the time and money to go to the doctor?
'What about the environment? I want to save the environment and stand up for my political views, right. Maybe I can incorporate that into my artwork more, but will the theoretical conceptual stuff sell?
Should I focus on what will sell? But, then how can I be true to myself get my concept out there?'

Mentally, we begin to slip sometimes, get cranky and moody because we're tired and broke, our family doesn't usually get it, and have never really understood us. You begin to wonder how in the world you were ever born into your family? Okay, so maybe that's more me. There are many well adjusted artist who have always had a great support system, a positive attitude, and many things come easy for them. I don't talk about it much, but I have even begun counting. Only those people who have the same issue really understand what that means. You are stressed, your mind can't quiet down, and many of the down moments you have it still won't stop. You start counting, counting everything all the time, except when working hard or sleeping.
Is it a wonder Van Gogh cut off his ear?

I know some people think 'awe, sob sob, the life of an artist is so hard'! We get to do what we like, how bad is that? Well, that is the good part, but it's being a small business owner that's hard, as many people know. Taking that chance, putting your self out there, hoping someone won't just crush all of your dreams and hard work, and will buy your art. It's living at or often below the poverty line, but sticking it out because you have to do this!
I know you are waiting for my to say next 'Well, don't fear I have the answer', but sorry I don't!
Sometimes it just helps to let the frustration and emotion out. I guess that's why we have things like blogs now, and of course our art as an outlet.

Well then, why do we want to be artists anyway? Is it for the joy and admiration of all who view our work?
That would be great!
Sometimes it's purely for shock and awe, we may create something that others find beautiful or even repulsive. Mostly we create to create. To express our selves and feel the sense of relief and accomplishment that comes from using our own two hands, to create this object from our minds eye, and bring it into this world for others to see what we see. We often want to share a message, get across an idea of how we feel, how we think and believe. It is often an artist's way to make a political statement, lead a movement, rally and strike for a cause, and affect change. And, it is to be who we are.

Go out and hug the nearest artist you see, let them know you appreciate who they are for being themselves, keeping an open mind, and trying to make the world a more interesting and beautiful place!

Thanks for reading, I needed that!,
Artist Gone Crazy

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