|I have frequently visited and learned a great deal from Art Blogs.
Other artists teach me much about defining what it is I am doing
in terms of the business of art. However,I still feel like it is an
up hill battle. Most of the Art Biz is about being brass balls as far
as I can see.
There are those I know who have a depth of talent
that makes me gasp in wonder. The technical ability is stunning.
They have a committment to a vision. The work ethic is in place.
They do not cycle in and out of creating but are caught up in
the passion. What stands in the way of taking that talent
out and showing it off is frequently just shyness, an
interest in not taking the focus off of others and a feeling
that if they promote themselves too loudly,
they are being unduly unkind or competitive.
So when does being an artist shade into being an
aggressive, self-promoting salesperson? When does
selling start to become the focus ahead of working on
oneself and one’s skills? When does being a salesperson
start to erode being an artist? It is an interesting question
and finally, one has to ask oneself what the goal is.
When the exploration of self, technique and expression
become secondary to standing in the market place ringing
a bell and yelling,” Art for sale. Come and get your art for sale.”
is actually taking the time and energy away from inspiration
it is a creativity killer.
I was listening to Lips and his bass player from ANVIL the
Canadian heavy metal due who were the first and best in
the metal scene. They inspired all of the major “successful”
metal bands. But they missed out on success.
They have mundane jobs and have garnered little
notice until the documentary ANVIL: the documentary
on ANVIL was produced. In the interview Lips said
something that really resonated with me.
He said that if you are depending on your art to
make you money, you have to give up being an artist.
If you make your money in another form, the art
can have a life of its own.
It reminded me of the advice that I had read when
I was taking a M.F.A in creative writing poetry at
Western Washington. If you want to write, don’t
get a job teaching writing. It just sucks the soul
out of your own writing.
How do those with amazing talent such
as the musiciansin ANVIL get overlooked
and others with repetitive,bubble gum
music make it big? The question is about
walking the thin line. Staying in the “light” and
operating from a deep, soul driven place. Yet
somehow being able to capture moments when
a profit can be made from the beauty
that you have been given the blessing to produce.
Stepping back and looking over the landscape
of marketing and being an artist, the final words
is about staying focused on the act of creativity.
Staying active and being willing to constantly
learn from life and from others while at the
same time believing in that which you are called
Make sure that you know
what success means for you and that you are not using
your art to fill a hole in your self-esteem. That is
like making love to a ghost. Very little fulfillment
in the romance can ever be achieved.
For me, the main work is always internal.
Knowing what I want to say and why is the
main focus. Feeling the security of being
alright in myself as I work my way
through a competitive world is the major difficulty.
How big is yours? Ego, sales, voice, bell ringing.
The struggle is internal as I recognize that my sense of self
cannot rely on what others reflect back to me.
It is not a competition as my husband
so often reminds me, “Life is an exposition.”
As we live, we expose more and more
of who we are. To ourselves and to others.
Now I have to go do a mail out publizing my
writing workshops for UBC-O Continuing Studies.
After all, the bills have to be paid.