Is it just a job?
My topic this week comes from one of my beautiful artist friends, Catherine Notaro Schweitzer! To see her stunning work you can visit her on Facebook.com/CatherineNotaroSchweitzer. I truly love to get input from my fellow artist friends because they are the creators and can be very philosophical with issues relating to their craft. I employed Catherine to give me the question of the week and she did not disappoint. Catherine’s question and one I often ask myself ….
“Would you continue to paint if you didn’t sell your paintings?”
What a great question and one I want Catherine to answer as well. In my case, the following quote that I found (not sure where I saw this) carved in a monument said this….
I have always loved to create! I am a creator/artist! I was born this way, what can I say! I started drawing in high school and entered all kinds of student art fairs and just loved everything about it. I drew just to draw and passionately made plans to make it my career.
Therefore, the first line of this quote was what drove me! “Art is pointless without passion”. I certainly had it! Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to make money doing what I loved.
What? I can’t make art my career?
Wow! Reality hit hard! Do I go out and create and do what I love? The answer lied in the era of the day. This was the mid 70’s, I guess there was a mindset because of the “Flower Child” generation that imprinted the following on people’s minds, “You can’t make a living as an artist, you need get an actual job to make a real living.” Unfortunately, this was also the mindset of my parents.
When it came to college and what area of studies I would pursue, art had no place for me where my parents were concerned. My mother never displayed my work and preceded to tuck my art pieces away into a drawer, never to be looked at again. She said and I quote, “you will be a failure…you will end up a starving artist. I needed to contribute to society by picking a worthy profession”.
What do I do? Follow my dream and disrespect my parents wishes? The people who brought me life in this world? With a sad heart, I did the next best thing. I became a teacher and for 30 years I taught children to read and love books as an elementary school librarian. I picked this “worthy profession” and loved it. I do not regret my decision although it was not my dream nor my passion. I do not put fault with my mother because, ironically, she then became a beautiful artist, in her own right, later on in her own life. She was truly an inspiration and a wonderful mentor to me and especially toward the end of her life.
Second time around
I am now fullfilling my dream with my business FayBecca Designs! Today I am an artist, now that I am retired from my first career, not for the money nor for the soliciting of my work. I do not need the validation of people buying my art to make me feel like I am good enough. I truly paint for the sheer joy it brings me! I started painting on old windows for my garden and then moved to paintings on canvas and wood. I even love to do sculture and make beautiful scultured leaves. Friends liked my pet paintings and wanted me to paint their pets and it grew. The business of painting just happened! My intention was to never really make a business of art, it just happened and it is wonderful because it pays for my supplies so that I can make more art.
“Would you paint if you didn’t sell another painting?” My answer is a resounding “YES”! It is my passion, my joy, my past-time, my love. If I can give someone a piece of art/sculpture, painting or a pet portrait with their vision…the more the better. It is not why I paint!
Please tell me your answer and thoughts to this question. I would love to hear your story…what drives you? Again, go to the bottom of this blog post and you will see a Disqus comment section. To comment, you will need to register. Registering protects this website from spam and your discussion remains private to this feed. Click on the comment box and you will be sent to the Disqus page to do this and then you can comment. Thank you my art friends!
To see more Art Squawk topics and discussion, just search Art Squawk and you will see my previous posts. Enjoy!
Have an artful week!