Being a professional artist is your dream. But art careers don’t come easy, and the reality of how hard it can be to make a living in a field where you have to design your own path is daunting. As an artist you’re subject to fickle fanbases, unpredictable trends, and budgets very easily affected by shifting economic outlooks. At some point you may have to face that feeling in the pit of your stomach and realize that you’re just not making ends meet on your art alone.
I want to tackle a myth today. A really pervasive one that I think locks a lot of artists into justifying unhealthy behavior. The myth of the tortured artist. The belief that you have to suffer for your art. That you have to be a martyr to make good work. That art is only good if it comes from pain. I think we’ve got it backwards. The cart is before the horse, and it’s holding a lot of artists back from embracing (and enjoying) their creativity.