I am an artist. I chose this path many years ago. It is how I identify myself. This path is fraught with disaster.
When a work is begun, it doesn’t normally go as planned.
A good artist strives for a level of perfection that is unattainable, because making art is a battle that takes multitudes of discipline to win. Winning means that work is seen, accepted, and ultimately purchased. And the bar is set higher with each sale. As the sales grow, the work is expected to get better. And as it gets better those who have purchased earlier works expect prices to rise. As the work becomes more popular, more shows are expected and the venues get nicer. Exhibitions now include contracts signed for money and guaranteed time. And that means serious deadlines. It means working harder to meet the creative expectations of a new body of work--a new level of work--which now includes costly overhead for quality products, framing, and shipping. And with the growth comes public speaking engagements, an honorable duty because a good artist gives back. Intensity increases as expectations are increased--and met. Family life becomes fraught with misunderstanding. Wives become artist widows. Family weddings are missed. Friends are sometimes lost along the way. Labels of ‘recluse’ and ‘hermit’ are tossed around--by your mother. Apologies fall on deaf ears.
Fraught. With. Disaster.
But I am not sorry for my decision to be an artist. My work is my blood and it’s my way of amounting to something. It’s how I can show that I was here. I want my grandkids to say, “My Poppy was an artist.”