What is it to be an artist? I know, this is a pretty vague question and so many people have a different idea as to what art even is which makes everything debatable about this subject. Some extremes say if you make money you are not an artist, you have sold out. But then wouldn’t that take away the whole point of having galleries who happen to sell your art? Or is having a middle man there to sell your art for you make it okay and not selling out?
I don’t know what the answer is, but I think if you are an artist of any type then it is just part of who you are. I personally believe that selling out only happens when you compromise yourself and/or your artwork for financial gain. You can make money doing what you love and without compromise. It may be more difficult but it can be done.
I guess this little thought process is coming to me today based on a few conversations I have had with other photographers lately. It seems that some people just do not understand why we do what we do and why we just don’t go out and get “real jobs”. Well, first off, I don’t want a “real job”. I just refuse to believe that the only way to go through life is to work 40+ hours a week for someone else. If that is what you want to do, more power to you, but it is not for me! I don’t look down upon those who live a lifestyle that I wouldn’t want so do not look down upon me. Seems like a fair request right?
Basically what it comes down to is this, I am going to do what I want to do and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Stop worrying about what others think, they have their own agenda and some may say they have your best interests at heart but they don’t. Really, they don’t, they are just doing what they think is best for you, when the truth is, you probably know what is best for you more than anyone else.
I don’t care if you are an artist, a lawyer, a carpenter or a bike messenger, just be who you are and be proud of who you are. Just accept that you are not going to please everyone, and that it is okay not to.