Am I one of those difficult artists who is a legend in her own mind but nowhere else? Do I fancy myself as more talented and more valuable than is justified? Am I unrealistic to believe that I could sell my artwork based on its own artistic merit? Am I crazy to set limits on how much I allow patrons the opportunity to dictate the directions of my work?
These are the random musings, or random questions, I should say, that plague the mind of an artist. Or at least the mind of this artist.
Recently, I have experienced criticism from all sides. I have had renegade artists in my own community criticize me for working cooperatively with community arts authorities and business leaders to complete public arts projects. They called me a “bootlicker” and a “sell-out”. I have also received criticism from an arts dealer who wanted me to fulfill her vision as opposed to my own. She suggested that I was an amateur and a zealot who would never sell my artwork because I was unwilling to make artistically compromising changes to the work. So which is it? Am I sell-out or a zealot?
Or am I just a fool?
I am no Rembrandt, and I am fine with that. I do not aspire to be an artist who changes the art world, nor do I aspire to being rich and famous. I have no illusions that I am some sort of Picasso who could do anything and have it sell for millions.
But I do have a unique artistic vision, and I do have a talent for articulating it in creative works. It is my vision, like it or not, and it is not yours. God gave it to me to give to the world. He didn’t give it to me to allow renegades and elitists on both ends of the spectrum to push into their own realities.
Artistically rendering someone else’s vision would be no more satisfying to me than working the drive-thru at the local burger joint.
And so, that is that.
It is no coincidence that we are referred to as “starving artists”. We’d rather starve than compromise, sometimes. It is ironic though, that sticking to our ideals satisfies our hunger more than anything else in the world.
Such are the random musings in the mind of an artist.
Or at least in the mind of this artist.
Life is an Adventure!