...serenity in motion
Fish don’t eat meat.
I was recently doing a podcast interview with another artist and he mentioned that he didn’t understand artists that never interacted with collectors. He and I both “self represent” and we have fresh conversations through out the year that help us understand the relevance of our subject and style to the public at large. There are other artists out there that don’t ever interact with the buying public and in fact, actively avoid it. He had a hard time relating to artists who don’t seek interaction. In typical fashion I blurted out the first thought that floated across my mind. "Fish don't eat meat", Fish will eat meat, we all know that is true because of NCIS, CSI…. And other alphabet soup shows that we have watched over the years but the point comes around to this. That which sustains one person, doesn’t always do so for another in the same way.
Now I admit, I don’t always understand how my mind works but; “Fish don’t eat meat” was what I came up with. All I could think of is that not all living things are supported by the same food in the chain. While I love a really good steak, fish don’t look at the shore and say, “Wow, look at the T-bone on that cow.” I could draw all sorts of parables about vegan, diabetics, crohns disease and celiac but the bottom line is this; we draw our survival from different substances.
Here is the important part; Give your self permission to be different and find the best creative support for you. I sell my art face to face, it works best for me. It is a lot of work and commitment, and it is very draining. It also is scary and invigorating for me and it really drives my creativity to see what people respond to. If you are creative and don’t want to sell your work, if that creates a stress that inhibits your creative drive; then don’t do it. It is okay. Being an artist isn’t about selling your work. It isn’t even about putting it in front of people. I have done other posts about just doing art for you.
There are different descriptors for artists, Professional, hobbyist, talented, amazing……. And it is the descriptor that defines whether you do it for “a living” or do it for “living”. Create because it helps you breathe, gives your life meaning. Sell it if you want to but let yourself recognize that your creations don't have to be marketed to legitimize you as a creative entity. If you are comfortable looking back at things you have done and doing them over and over, go ahead. Monet painted his garden over and over and he painted hay stacks repeatedly. He learned a lot when he did those exercises. I don’t paint the past because I tend to look forward. I miss a lot because I don’t want to look back. My choice and I own it.
Make the choices that suit you and don’t let everyone dictate to you what paths you should take. In the end, you will know what is wrong faster and can make changes that will work best for you.