Hard Knock Life
I had the opportunity to take a printmaking class in college and on a side note would highly recommend printmaking to anyone who has even remotely considered it at one point in their life. The professor during one of our critiques said something that I still think rings true. Since I can not exactly quote him I need to paraphrase. In our society art is the hardest profession to make a living at.
I’m not sure if I can pinpoint why I think it’s true but I do believe it. I see making a living as a photographer more work than having, say, an office job. I’m not trying to belittle other fields and I apologize if it sounds like that. I’m focusing more on the fact that unlike an office position there is no garauntee of paid work the following day, unless you create it for yourself. So not only do you have to work but you have to work to get work, if that makes any sense.
We need to execute each day’s assignments but we also need to generate new assignments for the next day. This is done through self-promotion. The extra marketing in addition to the work involved in actually making images can be twice as demanding, at least that’s how I see it. Maybe it’s not as difficult if you’re a well-known veteran.
When this professor made this comment in our class, I think he could have been gearing it to the less commercialized arts and more towards the fine arts. I’ll readily admit that making a living as an artist who does work only for shows and galleries is even harder than the more commercialized sector. I mean the phrase “starving artist” has been around for awhile. Again, I’m not trying to make comparisons.
I was thinking about this the other day because of the stagnancy I’ve been in recently. I’m trying not to defeat myself but sometimes it proves difficult. Life keeps smacking me in the face saying its not going to be easy. I suppose, though, if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth it. My advice: never give up. As long as you work towards your goals, it will be time well spent.