Tag: life of an artist

What is it like to be an artist? Sometimes it is pretty ordinary in an extraordinary sorta way.

Animal Artist BZTAT painting in studio
BZTAT – an ordinary day in the studio

Yesterday, I posted about how being an artist can be pretty fabulous. Most days though, are boringly ordinary.

I usually awaken later in the day than most, pick up my iPhone while still in bed, take a photo of whichever of the 5 cats around me is looking the cutest, check my email and social media sites, get up out of bed, and then I am off to my day.

Nothing all that extraordinary about that.

Creating and marketing my artwork is my job, so my day is sorta like yours. I do various tasks involved with “my job” which includes: researching ideas, acquiring materials, networking through face to face and social media connections, updating my website, writing newsletters, writing blog posts, reading other bloggers’ blog posts, catching up on the latest news and current events, and reading email.

I get lots and lots of email.

After I do all that, I get around to the actual creating. I usually paint or draw or do other creative activities later in the evening. That is the time I am the most creative for some reason, and it is when I have less distraction.

So if you had the idea that artists are out in some kind of dreamy world that is separate from yours, you would be a bit off base.

My mental world, though, is probably a bit different than yours.

When I paint, I go into a creative place that takes my mind in different directions. I go into a semi-trance of sorts where I am basically doing a mindless task, yet my intuition and creative vision are always on auto-pilot.

My eyes scan every detail and every brushstroke. Although not everything I paint is intentional, my mind is alert for where I am at, where I am going, and where I have been.

I sometimes know exactly where I am going, and other times I engage in an adventurous experiment. Sometimes I think I know where I am going, and then I step back from the canvas for a look. “Crap, that’s not right at all,” is my next thought. And I change directions.

There is always a visual and verbal dialogue going on in my head. I really can’t explain it. Sometimes it is a swirling mix of visual and verbal snippits – ideas or images that crossed my path during the day, or issues and circumstances that stick in my brain and need to be processed.

Despite all that noise, I also am feeling a very visceral and somewhat spiritual connection to the subject of my creativity, especially when I am painting the portrait of an animal. I pour and pour over the photos of the animal, and I try to get a “feel” for the character and spirit of the creature I am painting.

I also think of what that animal means to the person who has so lovingly commissioned their portrait.

I am a very fussy painter. I fuss and fuss and fuss for hours to get a certain color or shape or composition correct. I make constant changes and I work and overwork areas obsessively.

I cannot explain why. It is just my process. If I did it any other way, my art would not be my art – it would just be some other painting.

When I complete an artwork, unlike some artists, I am very pleased. I enjoy my artwork and I am thrilled when others do too.

I do not complete an artwork everyday, and some days I go to bed feeling very unsettled or unsatisfied with my work.

And I wake up the next day, ready for another ordinarily extraordinary day.


What is it like to be an artist? Sometimes it is pretty fabulous.

Artist BZTAT painting at Outdoor Concert

There are perks and there are challenges to being an artist. Sometimes the challenges are daunting. But the perks can be pretty fabulous.

One of the things that I enjoy the most about being an artist is participating in special events and becoming part of the entertainment. Sometimes it is planned. Other times, it is spontaneous.

Last week, we had a concert on the street where my gallery/studio is located. It was such a beautiful night and such a wonderful and casual crowd, I decided to bring my easel and paints out onto the street and paint out in the evening breeze.

Artist BZTAT painting at Outdoor Concert

 I had a great time painting to the sounds of the music, and the crowd seemed to enjoy watching me paint. I especially enjoyed the children who watched with awe. “She’s a real live artist!”

I do planned events as well, and have an equally fun time interacting with people when I am hired to make events entertaining and interesting (Check out my Artify Your Event! page).

Sometimes, being an artist is a lonely job, and I will write about that in a future post. It does not always have to be that way, though.

The process of sharing creativity with others can be so much fun!

Watch the video below of my painting at the concert last week. It is a bit long – sorry for that – but it gives you a bit of an idea about my painting technique.

Have you seen artists at events and enjoyed what they contributed? What would you like to see artists do in your town?

What is it like to be an artist?

Artist BZTAT painting
Artist BZTAT painting

“I wish I could paint like that!” “I wish I was an artist!”

I hear those comments a lot. I generally smile or continue the conversation in some other direction, because it is sort of awkward to respond directly.

I am gratified by the complimentary tone, and I deeply appreciate the admiration. It is a gift to have a talent to which others aspire. How many people get to do something every day that inspires others to say, “I want to do that!”?

It amazes me sometimes how others seem to enjoy the vicarious journey of “living” through the eyes of the artist, trying to imagine what it is like to be, well, me.

I often think my life is pretty boring. I mean, I fill my day with things that are interesting to me, but in the grand scheme of things, I doubt what interests me is of interest to others. Yet, my postings in social media suggests otherwise. Retweets on Twitter and Facebook “Likes” are always a surprise to me.

I try to use this blog to give a glimmer of insight into my life and my adventure every day. My art also shares my insight and unique perspective. I thought this week, however, I would focus more directly on giving my readers and art fans a more in-depth view.

So what would you like to know? What questions do you have about what it is like to be an artist? I will try to respond and give feedback the best that I can in daily posts this week.

Thanks for following my adventure!