A lot of artists struggle with their mentality. A tiny voice tells us, “ you’re not good enough,” “it never turns out the way you want,” “there’s not enough time,” “your art is going nowhere.” Anything to convince yourself that your art is secondary.
We end up playing mental Olympics with ourselves, oscillating between desire and self-flagellation. There are so many negative assumptions society has about artists, it’s hard not to internalize them… especially because there is some truth in them.
Yes, it’s a long path. And yes, you can’t just work your way up a ladder to success. And yes, you’re not always sure when your next paycheck will come.
But we don’t pursue art because it’s the safe journey. We don’t pursue art because it will be easy. We don’t pursue art because someone else told us to.
We pursue art because something deep within us can’t live without it. Because something within us would always feel empty without it.
And the pursuit of this dream is more fulfilling than the guarantee of a 9-5 job.
Even though we have to organize, organize, organize. Be crazy good time managers. Bounce from one job to the next (not all paid). Hustle. Learn to market ourselves and our art. And most importantly, create, create, create.
Being an artist is so much more than just our craft. We have to be our own self managers, financiers, promoters, until maybe one day we are successful enough for someone to take those roles over for us.
These are a lot more skills than we were taught in art school.
Which is why so many artists struggle with juggling all the hats we are told to wear.
Unfortunately, once we hit the real world, it’s not just about the art. It’s about the whole package. And we must teach ourselves to have it all.
But that’s why I created We’re Not Starving. I don’t have all the answers. You don’t have all the answers. But together, we can discover more and more of the answers.
We can encourage each other when we’re feeling down. We can inspire each other when we’re feeling empty. And we can love each other when we’re feeling unworthy.
You are not alone.
And together, we will forge this path ahead.