Retired Artist?!

50C73F19-9CEE-4813-B874-602DA2A1A062Over 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!

7 comments

  1. I so resonate with your comments on being an artist and the need to create. We must share some similar genes or something 😉
    I tried the “art as a business” very briefly. And discovered very quickly that it was not for me. But being creative with pencils or paints or words or a camera or music or even my sewing machine brings me joy and energizes my soul.
    I love what you are doing and how you are not only continuing to be an artist and to create, but also providing space and inspiration for another generation to discover the power and pleasure of creativity. ❤️

    Like

    1. Thankyou for taking the time to comment. It is nice to have someone that understands why I would walk away from the business of art. Not many do.
      I have learned so much from playing art with my granddaughters. Really helps you shake off all of the unimportant stuff!
      Thanks again!

      Like

  2. I share creative genes with you. Wish i could figure out the making money part of it without losing the impetus to create new things. Tried selling at shows a number of years ago, but became discouraged when fellow miniaturists liked what i had for sale, but often said, “Oh, i see how you did that…now i will make it myself.” Thinking of doing Etsy. Creativity without the rejection! 😊

    Like

    1. That is an option. I have thought about that too….if I could zero in on one thing I want to do. I hated doing art shows. Did them for about 5 years until I had enough galleries to do the selling. People would always ask me how I did a painting….how do you explain that? I alway thought about writing an article titled … “things to NOT say to an artist at a show”

      Like

    2. Please do not be discouraged about those miniaturists that say horrible things like that. What they do not realize – is people that buy these miniatures from them are saying and doing the same to them, maybe they do not know that. Perhaps they are not selling like they want. If the item is easy enough to figure out to make, then a person will make one and no longer want/need to buy their product. This world is big enough for all artist/creative people to leave their mark on. Everyone has something good to offer. I have seen some lovely things out there, along with items that were not lovely. There are things out there for all incomes. As for selling your item – make it and see what people are charging for the same/similar thing. Also base your price on how hard it is to make or how expensive materials are. If you are not selling, then chances are, your prices could be too high for the item. You must figure that part out. Also you must allow yourself time for people to start looking for the types of items you make and to find you.
      Get out there and put your creativity to work!!!!
      Hopblogger/Conny
      I have 2 blogs.
      http://www.itsaminilife.blogspot.com
      http://www.remakeremixreuse.blogspot.com

      Like

      1. Thankyou for your thoughts and encouragement. Please know, I haven’t had any issues at all the the miniaturist. I was talking about when I worked as a painter/artist. I sold paintings for many years from galleries and trade shows. That world can be brutal. I have found the miniatures to be very easy going and fun. At this time, I don’t have any interest in selling miniatures so I probably will never come across problems there.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s