You are an artist and you love the idea of being in command of your life. You paint when you want to and rest when tired. Nobody makes you jump to their tune. If someone does not like your work – well tough. Self reliance can also be termed self-employed or freelancing. Hold on! Self-employed? Being self-employed is just about another form of indenture to the customer or client is it not? Self-reliance demands more.
It is one thing to buy a product from a shop and not be satisfied with it. You can buy another better product or go and complain and get your money back. Artists face other issues. A collector looks at a painting and makes a decision. Matter over and no excuses. The steadfast artist will accept this unless the artist is on shaky ground. An artist unsure of her place in the art world will carry insecurity wherever she goes. The danger of compromising increases until the artist is churning out what others demand. The art is gone and all that is left is a factory.
The self-reliant artist must create what resonates with the artist. Collectors will understand this.
The idea of self-reliance has been under pressure in recent years. The world economy has been reduced to a basket case. We are told that we must sacrifice if we want to survive. Yes greed is no longer good and reckless spending has been legislated against. That is an improvement, but how to live? It is confusing to say the least. How does the artist fit into this mess and is there still a place for the self-reliant artist? Gallery or self-promotion or both? New directions maybe?
In times like these there are many experts selling invisible clothes to those desperate enough to buy. These are the experts trying to convince artists that their system will get them sales. Seven steps to healthy sales! Yes there are a few mentors who do care and give good advice. There are others who claim to have the answer to increase sales and followers if you just will pull out your credit card and pay. Tempting? certainly is when your paintings gather dust or collectors resemble mirages on the horizon.
It is easy to spend too much time online seeking answers in the cloud of connectivity. A place of shadows and empty promises if you hang your hopes on it. In times like these it can be difficult to sleep let alone stump up for more art supplies.
These times are also an opportunity. It is the artist’s opportunity to show character. Look within and reconnect to the purpose of your art. Why do you create? Is it for money or ego gratification? If you won the lotto would you stop painting every day or at all? The artist will declare emphatically – NO! It is not about the money or business or compliments.
So far we still make a respectable living. Artist make their contribution to society. We create and bide our time. Yes we also hustle and market on a shoestring using ingenuity when budget demands it. But when the sun rises each day we thank God that we can still use our bodies and minds to create something unique.
We carry on humbly and with the assurance that truth is attainable when we create from within.
We have our art and we make our own choices.
Justin Sampsel is a recording artist, online guitar teacher,dance tutor and a music career mentor.Justin Sampsel play guitar for the band. Justin Sampsel has musician development website to become a better musician, get free music industry advice, music and dance career tips and professional music and dance industry advice.