the not so starving artist project

I've been thinking that one of this biggest problems in my life right now is how to live as an artist and be able to have a successful career, access to health care, opportunity to travel, and have relationships/family/home. Perhaps it is because I am feeling blue today because I'm in one of those financially rocky moments where it seems like all I do is work only to watch all my income slip away to bills. Despite my two plus jobs, grant, trades, and occasional art income or odd jobs, I can barely keep afloat. When I have that feeling of sinking I just begin to question why doesn't the universe provide and then subsequently should I even pursue this crazy endeavor of being an artist. Teachers rarely talk about this sort of stuff at school because even that is a pyramid system in which they could be knocked off any minute and that relies on students buying into the idea that some day they might make it. Anyhow the most interesting and honest thing I can offer to the world right now is my attempts to resolve and process this problem.


nosey parker said…
great question! for me and most artists there's a constant pull to find something financially stable and to question why we pursue the non-pragmatic.
I always think about being born into a situation where pursuing art wasn't an option and this makes me feel lucky to have the opportunity.
i believe a FT job in the arts helps legitimize the pursuit somewhat. there's sometimes great rewards that come from a tenure track position but i've also watched people become very comfortable and loose the interest in having a vital practice.
i can't figure what else i'd rather do and more often than not i utilize the "fuck it" approach and do what i want...especially when faced with adversity.
most of us are in the same boat, i've had the job and i've struggled with juggling jobs and it comes and go's. it gets harder when you've got bigger responsibilities than yourself so for now you should be a little more selfish. you should enjoy the down time with making things. this down time will subside and then you wont have any time.
you've had a pretty good run btw so i wouldn't feel so down.
Wander Full said…
thanks for the reply and I appreciate hearing others are in the same boat, which I imagine I know its just sometimes I believe that others have it figured out. I hear what you say about "pursing an art wasn't an option". I feel the same way and I guess thinking of it as luck is a healthy way to reframe the frustrating moments. Ditto on watching the tenure trackers lose interest in their practice I even see that in adjuncts that don't seem to show their work. Thanks for the permission to enjoy the down time. Sometimes its hard to be selfish in that way because I start to feel an odd sense of time and being "behind" with my art career. There was an odd list in Modern Painters that compared artist careers in say the 50/60 with now and one thing that really struck me was the cult of youthfulness. Its sort of screwy as I much rather prefer the idea of an artist that grows and refines ideas over time vs. one discovered on Bravo.
nosey parker said…
the cult of youthfulness! i've had a run-in or two with that in interviewing for positions. it's ok though, i think the pool of positions is quite elastic from year to year.
you have to just keep your practice going. that's easy though right? what else is there except for fly fishing...sort of the same thing. fly fishing in the dismal swamp.

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