Art For Love or Money

Being an artist is no easy thing. We have all heard the story of the suffering penniless artist who has struggled for years in the hope that one day the good art fairy will come along and Tah dah, your dreams come true and your art is suddenly discovered by a gallery, promoted by an agent or critic or patrons and overnight success, fame and fortune are all yours.

This I can honestly say is a load of rubbish. Artists don't become successful overnight. They don't wake up one morning with art lovers banging on the door clamouring to buy their art for ridiculous sums of money.

That's not why any of them became an artist and it’s defiantly not what keeps them artists. The simple truth is artists do art for love not money. The money what little there is, is not the reward. The true reward is often a little more difficult to understand and differs from artist to artist.

For some it's the love of creating, for others it might be recognition, while for a few making something of perfect beauty and a million other reasons but whatever it is one thing is constant, continuous unwavering hard work.

In truth this is the suffering of the artist struggle. Creating art is an ongoing battle, an internal war of highs and lows, of small success and frustrating lulls.  It is a destructive cycle of self criticism and perceived failure and yet more self doubt punctuated by shot periods of intense fear and elation.

You pick yourself up, you ignore the critics, you try and try again and you learn. You learn new skills and talents you never thought you needed. You learn to talk about your art even if you're shy. You learn to overcome rejections. you dig down deep inside for more courage and you keep working, slogging away until one day one person says those magic words.

Wow, your doing so well, don't give up.   

So you don't give up you keep working, learning and growing and each hard step brings you that tiny bit closer. For me as an artist it's not just success or selling a painting or hearing a few words of praise. It is my friend Michael (and a few others) who have been there from the start, who whispers almost silently at times, who's tireless encouragement gives me the energy to go on and be the artist I have dreamed of becoming. That I can say with a hand on heart is what its all about.