Over the last few weeks, I have had several people take exception that I used the term “Retired Artist” to describe myself. You are either and artist or you are not, but it isn’t something you can retire from.
The part of me that needs to create did not go away when I hit 60. It is totally who I am. So of course, I can’t retire from that. I can, however, retire from the business of art. That has nothing…absolutely nothing, to do with being an artist. It can, in fact, be a deterrent to being a true artist. The business of art involves marketing, accounting and PR. All of which an artist may, or may not be good at. It can actually stifle creativity when you gain a measure of success doing one thing and feel drawn in another direction, only to have your new ideas met with opposition. There is an expectation that your “product” remain consistent. This happened to me, and that was when things changed and art became a business.
So, after years of doing the business side of art and not enjoying it, I had to finally ask myself…..Is there really something valuable in creating art work just for a consumer society? What role does original art play in a digital world where absolutely anything can be produced and/or replicated. Success in art really has nothing to do with the consumer (although making money from doing what you love can be nice). It is all about having a concept and being able to convey that in your creation. Whether it is seen by millions, or just a few.
Why were some of us born with this incessant need to create, sing, write…? I have no idea, but I know for me personally I am not very happy if I don’t have a bazillion creative projects going at once. Happiness to me is a day alone in my studio doing whatever I want, just because I want to. That part of me is still an artist and craftsman.
SO, I changed my bio – I am an artist and that doesn’t change. I retired from the business and may possibly have regained being an artist!
To those that commented – Thankyou for making me stop and think about it! I welcome any comments or reflections you may have on the subject!