Friday, August 22, 2014

Art & The Fear of Financial Insecurity

A book entitled Art and Fear explores the relationship the artist has with being an artist and always living with fear, by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

As recovering alcoholic, and I don't mind saying so, as it is who I am. I have come to the realization as a result of being an artist and alcoholic, fear comes with the territory.
As artists we are fearful our art will not be accepted and appreciated by the public. We fear not being to support ourselves through our art. It is a constant. Art and fear go hand in hand and this is what the artist lives with, most of the time. There are a myriad of fears we experience, and must overcome.

In AA we talk about the Twelve Promises. All but one has come true for me in my twenty years of sobriety. I live with the fear of financial insecurity. Some days are better than others, but I never give up, and I believe in my capacity to create and live happily regardless.

 So I ask myself, do I want to be constantly feeling this way? Obviously not, so I have to accept that being an artist is the path that I have chosen or that has chosen me. I strive to take my work as an artist seriously with courage, commitment, and the passion to create. I have learned and continue to learn about marketing and business.

Artist’s are not so much like regular business entrepreneurs, in that we can’t simply try another business. But there are many things we can do to improve our financial situation.
Many of us don’t get this kind of essential information about the practical knowledge of the business of being an artist when we go to art school. Universities have taken steps to change this, are still in need of improvement.
In the meantime, artists must advocate, believe in themselves and their capacity to create because they love what they do, to know and understand that they are of immense importance to the world.

Here's a great post on Maria Brophy's blog entitled, " Why Artists Should (Not) Be Paid for Their Artwork", that addresses what I believe to be a big part of the problem. She makes some very insightful points.

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