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How to feel miserable as an artist


  • Thanks for posting that, @Richard. All great points. And, @Forgiveness, I very much agree - this site has been a godsend for many of us.
  • I think I'm guilty of 4 but what I knew was all wrong and it's too easy for me to fall back on those things. I get frustrated a lot. I lose patience easily. I'm stuck on 8 too but that's not a problem as that's what I like to paint. I believe anyone who's feeling miserable will be happier if they become a regular visitor to the forum.
  • it's good to express yourself, it's good to just get it off your chest, hopefully a lesser burden to be free again and remain strong. Thank you @EstherH.
  • @JeffAllen, that's a great point. Thinking every attempt should produce a masterpiece is a great way to feel unhappy as an artist.
  • I am guilty of quite a few of these points but aren't we human after all :) Negative thoughts will also creep in but I think about my family and it is the boost that I need to get along with things.
  • edited June 2
    @Richard_P Not having a market and not being able to sell are the worsts than anything above. :s
  • That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward.
     Ernest Hemingway  Dark-haired man in light colored short-sleeved shirt working on a typewriter at a table on which sits an open book
  • There is a market for you somewhere@Kaustav, unfortuneately it just isn't close to where you are.
  • @Kaustav:  Unfortunately like acting, or music the chance of making a living at painting (even if you are awesome) is pretty unlikely unless you go get your MFA and get lucky enough to acquire a tenured teaching position at a university.  Not saying you shouldn't try but I think for most painting should be fulfilling for other reasons I think.
  • @JeffAllen, you're right that making a living as an artist is unlikely for most but I disagree about the MFA and tenured teaching. There are loads of people out there selling everywhere from sidewalks to the internet. I don't think they have anymore "talent" than anyone in the forum or lots of amateurs out there. The difference is they are working at selling themselves as much as selling there work. I'm in a big city with lots of "ART" events and places to show/sell. I think the difference is the ones making a living at it are willing to compromise and paint out of their preferred genre/subject matter and are willing to give instruction. People are paying ridiculous sums for pet portraits and car "portraits". I think very few working artists rely on galleries for their main income. If they do, they do they are either very good or probably fit into the category of "starving" artists.

  • @BOB73: My point about the MFA is not that it will necessarily make you a better artist than other methods of learning.  I was just saying if you want to be an artist for a living and get a regular paycheck that is probably the most stable bet (getting a gig as an art professor).  Endeavors outside of that you have to not only be really skilled as a painter but equally skilled at marketing yourself.  Most artists suck at the marketing part.  My wife is a photographer specializing in portraits.  She does pretty well, but she spends way more time on marketing and networking with other people than she does on the actual craft of photography.  One facet of her business is teaching people the business side.  We discuss this all the time.  There are a lot of good artists out there but for whatever reason they suck at business.  Now I'm not really saying this to discourage people from pursuing that path.  I just don't think the average person realizes how difficult it is.  If they understand that and willing to deal with all the business and networking side of things, more power to them.
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