Yesterday I came across an interesting article and a specific part touched me personally. The struggle between making art because I simply have to make art and to sell it is already quite difficult. But often I also have to fight against my own disapproval of my work, which makes selling even harder. If I think my work is never good enough, I will never sell anything.
Jessica Olien, NY, wrote:
“Most people agree that what distinguishes those who become famously creative is their resilience. While creativity at times is very rewarding, it is not about happiness. (…) a successful creative person is someone “who can survive conformity pressures and be impervious to social pressure”.
To live creatively is a choice. You must make a commitment to your own mind and the possibility that you will not be accepted. You have to let go of satisfying people, often even yourself.”
And I think she’s right. The path I choose as a full time artist is not easy. Obviously there is a kind of romance to the freedom and to working from an inner strength, but like everything in real life: it is work and it is hard work. In the case of an artist often without much feeling of success. I’m not going home with a good feeling about that meeting I’ve had (I often work at home), that perfect report (which I do not make) and not every month on the 21th my salary is paid ( that comes in small amounts and frequently it takes a very long time ). It sometimes is quite lonely.
And so I doubt every day. Am I ready for this step? Can I accept to perhaps hear ‘no’ when I offer my work to galleries and exhibitions ? And is their ‘no’ just as painful as my ‘no’?
Because the latter is always there.
According to Jessica Olien I should be actually stricter to myself. My expectations have to change, not me. I cannot expect to ever being my own supporter, but I can expect that I always will be my own critic.
Maybe that’s real smart and makes sure I keep a distance between myself and my work. Maybe it will make sure I can finally be objective about my work. Not with a standard ‘no’ but with a ‘you know, this could be something good’. And exactly that may well ensure that I get to make really good art.