Why I Can No Longer Just Paint for Fun?
I always thought how noble it was for the artist to paint only for the enjoyment and the purity of self expression. To be an artist was something that was above self promotion and commercialism. I had this lofty opinion more on the subconscious level my whole artistic career. Then I had a conversation…
This weekend I was at an event sponsored at the High School of Art and Design, where I am an alumni. It was a draw a thon. It was an all day event to raise money for the students. Artists of all ages and levels drew and painted from the model for a fee. I met several people from the present and the past. It was a lot of fun. I met a fellow artist friend and he told me an artist who had passed away recently. This artist was a very accomplished painter whom worked his whole life. His technique was beautiful and his content was extremely soulful. He had shown me some of his paintings and they were like Rembrandt’s portraits with beautiful colors and drawn perfectly.
He told me that there was a sale soon for most of his paintings and drawings. Most of the work had little monetary value in the art market. Many pieces were selling as low as $20. I felt my heart sink and the blood rush from my head. A sense of fear fell over me. At first, it was unexplainable. I didn’t know where this was coming from. Was I that empathetic of this artist who passed away? Was all this emotion for an artist that I didn’t even know? Then it dawned on me.
The fear was for me! I have been wrong all these years. There is no nobility in painting and drawing without self promotion or commercialism. This attitude of art for art’s sake does not serve the public or the artist. This great artist should not be in obscurity when far lesser artists are having one man shows with champagne toasts and huge articles in publications and books written about them. I wish that this great artist was more known and that his work was gobbled up by museum curator and collector alike. I can’t do anything about that. I can; However, do something about my art and my career. I can continue to market and expose my work as much as possible and stop feeling guilty about the commercialization of my work. Part of the artist’s job is expose the art to as many people as they can. I have decided, no more guilt and much more marketing.
I want my art to be revered and handled by museum curators and lovers of my paintings and drawings when I am gone. I know the only way for that happen is for me to increase imy art’s reach as far as I can. I will be creating more blog posts, videos on my YouTube channel, as well as,instructional DVDs and e-books. My art career is not just about creating the work. It is only half the battle..