It’s a labor of love isn't it?
We all know that art isn't work.
Why expect compensation for your hobby/trade/craft?
For some reason--
be it jealousy or an uncultured outlook on life--friends, family, and strangers alike often shame artists out of living their truths, be it for the work they make or the work they take on to keep making art.
dogs, prison break + an honest job
Last summer, I found myself in search of an "honest" job.
I’d already tried corporate, the museum world, and retail...so why not take a job that I normally wouldn't have?
Enter, Christina the dog-walking receptionist.
Though the job ended rather dramatically (another day, another story),
I found myself met with incredulity from those I'd tell about my job:
me: yes, I work with dogs.
random family friend: ...but didn't you go to college, didn't you graduate??
me: yes I studied art, and I'm still making art so I think I'm good...
the hostility is REAL
Artists the world over have declared their choice of art-as-profession only for their parents to disown them and tell them the status of the artist is akin to that of a low-rent beggar. (don't look at my parents sideways, I'm not talking about them here)
OR have a date angrily riddle you with questions like, "so you never FELT LIKE you needed to work a REAL job because you need to be an adult?"
OR have complete strangers assume you're uneducated and uninspired,
as the half-second image of you scooping dog poop FORtheRESTofYOURlife makes them shudder. Yeah, that happened to me:
"You want to be an artist," he scoffed.
"You need to go to college, join the military and work as a prison guard",
an Uber-driving man forcefully told me on a ride back from said job.
That begs the question…
How and why does the image of someone pursuing their dream instill so much hostility in perfect strangers? And why does the status that society gives a job change someone's "perceived" level of intelligence or professional pursuits?
the hate is real and now you see it too.
And I finally understand why: artists don't deserve money.
Think about it. It's what we love to do, we put our time, blood, sweat and tears into it (voluntarily), so, why expect money from it?
Okay I know my satire may be hard to read here, that wasn't my best attempt at it, but c'mon.
Those hours in the studio,
the back and forth between client and designer,
the sweat equity poured into building your business--
My ideas, my aesthetic, my artistic legacy, even if it never translates to a canvas hanging in your home, are worth gold.
where does that leave us?
We should all work to understand that artists are worth it, long before the disapproving neighbor/aunt/stranger agrees to affirm the artist’s pursuits once they’ve read that $25k price tag next to their work.
They're worth it when they're living off student loans in a dusty old studio.
They're worth it when they're working a 9 - 5 they [hate/love].
They're worth it when they haven't made a piece in years.
So let's go back to the age-old adage:
if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything.
You think some artist shouldn't be making money?
You don't think I should get to do what I want for a living?
That's your opinion, and I think you know what to do with it ;)