The tortured artist, the eccentric artist, the mad/insane artist are all stereotypes that many folks can recognize. The interesting thing is that sometimes they are all true, even in the most normal of personalities. Choosing to create visual beauty for a career can really drive you to a level of insanity. Artists live on the edge, sometimes without even knowing it. Keeping a creative mind fresh and relevant in no easy task. It takes a level of strength and determination to continue to do this for a living. Most artist are not opening up a conversation about this or rarely talk about the dark side of this occupation or shall I say "Life" because it is more that an occupation. You have to live it...and that can be interesting.
I am usually a very positive person, always looking on the bright side of even the most tough situations. I carry myself with a level of confidence and positive thoughts. I am also very good at masking what is really going on inside my head. The pressure and feelings of rejection are always floating in the back of my mind. I get down on myself about most of my work in private. I never feel like it is good enough. Hitting blocks of zero creativity and/or creating work that is Shit happens more than I would like to admit. I know that this is all part of the process. I am willing to open up about the demons that play inside my head to create a larger picture of who I am as an artist.
Working with Galleries and Art Agents is all part of the business. It can be the most positive/negative part of the whole deal. We are all in it to make a few dollars to keep doing what we do. Business is business and most of it is monkey business as far as I am concerned. They are real good at stroking your ego to keep you happy. I just smile and know it is just part of the game. They know...that I know...but the dance still goes on. They are always on the "Hot Lead" and there is always someone that is real interested in buying your piece. Again, I just smile! Until that painting is out the door and I have a check in my hand they can do/say whatever they want to feel like they are relevant to me and my business as an artist. Like I said it is all Monkey Business.
I can have multiple great things going on in my art world, Wonderful shows, International acclaim, Galleries calling me to show my work, etc. etc. but all that it takes to bring me down is a drought in sales. How silly is that? It can cripple my whole creative mindset. The doubt in my work takes hold and grips me tight. Everything suffers!...Almost like I need that validation of my work through a sale. This is something that may be a flaw in my ego? When I am selling a lot it shows in my attitude towards working and I end up creating a lot of work. When a drought hits I get frustrated. Aside from the money why is that so important? It is a jig saw puzzle I am working on piece by piece and someday I will complete the whole 1000 piece puzzle to reveal the solution. It sounds crazy to me even as I type it out. Maybe I am just admitting it for the first time out loud?
I Love my life as an Artist and I would not want to be doing anything else with my life. My talent is a gift handed down through my heritage and family. It is a legacy I intend to pass on to my children. I am honored that so many paintings of mine are hanging on walls all over the world. I am honored that folks take a piece of me into their homes and it becomes part of their world. I do not take any of this for granted. I just wanted to speak out a bit about some of the challenges that artists face. I live in the real world and not some Idealistic fantasy world. This is a job! I can spout out how being an artist is all about the art....or the soul of the artist....color and theory and any other thing that may be said. These are all part of it on many levels. Some can artists live those idealistic views all the time. I wish I could but reality sets in and I have to pay bills and raise a family. So I have to play the game....thus the insanity can set in? The crazy world of selling paintings, staying creative and keeping my life happy as an artist. No one ever told me it would be easy. Matter of fact all of the craziness and pressure actually are part of the fun in many ways also. Pressure pushes you to create and be creative. I sometimes paint my best work when I am in a tortured state of mind. Funny how it all works out in the end.